Natural breathing is the main topic for Week 3 of my free online sessions on Zoom that explore the benefits, process and practice of a voice bath. Because breathing is “the gateway to wellbeing”, there will be more videos added later on, as we go on with our course.
Full Video Script: Natural Breathing
What is natural breathing? Look at small children and babies. They have not lost their natural way of breathing yet. You can see clearly how a baby’s abdomen expands on inhalation and how it retracts on exhalation. The children have not yet learned how to breathe inefficiently and out of sync with their bodies.
People who practise yoga, qi-kung, tai-chi or mindfulness meditation, know that the positive effects of these practises are based on their ability to breathe with an active diaphragm – like the babies do. On an inhalation, the diaphragm contracts and moves downward, pushing the abdomen out. In this way, the lungs expand, creating a partial vacuum and sucking air in. On an exhalation, the diaphragm relaxes upward, and the abdomen moves inward. This is the most efficient way to breathe, as well as the most natural. There are videos on YouTube that demonstrate very well how diaphragmatic breathing creates more internal space, more room for the lungs to expand than just expanding the chest. Of course, when you perform a physically demanding activity, both the chest and the abdomen will be moving accordingly. We must allow our body to respond to each activity naturally. Even when you are completely still, the chest is moving slightly.
Unfortunately, relaxed abdominal breathing is not a norm in today’s highly stressed society. The most common type of breathing is chest breathing. This type of breathing leads to chronic rapid breathing, also called hyperventilation syndrome.
People, who suffer from psychosomatic diseases such as asthma, hypertension, migraine, chronic pain, seizures, heart disease etc. – they also have a common symptom: hyperventilation. Also, mental conditions such as chronic anxiety, panic disorders lead to hyperventilation.
There is more and more scientific evidence that finds diaphragmatic breathing essential to health and wellbeing. There are multiple benefits such as sufficient oxygen supply, optimal body ph, massage of internal organs and the back of your spine, lowering of blood pressure, stimulating the vagus nerve that stimulates the parasympathetic response, immune system support and more.
You will be able to see more breathing exercises on singlikealark.com/breathing as we go along with our online sessions. Also, when you practice toning the correct way you have to activate your diaphragm to be able to sustain the tones. Therefore, toning is also an exercises in correct breathing and gives you all the benefits of singing: the resonance and tone frequencies, plus the slow, deep breathing that relaxes your body and mind. This is a great, peaceful state of being. If wellbeing and inner peace is something for you, natural breathing is the gateway.