Pilates Class – Develop A Longer, Leaner, Strong Body With Pilates

 Exercises, Health  Comments Off on Pilates Class – Develop A Longer, Leaner, Strong Body With Pilates
May 272010
 

A Pilates class is going to be a big change in your exercise life. Instead of focusing on sweating, energetic movement, and shortening muscles through strength building. The originator of the Pilates program, Joseph Pilates, had a different vision of fitness. His vision included combining the mind, body, and building a long, lean, strong body by centering the body, and focusing on creating a strong middle.

The one thing you will notice in a Pilates class almost immediately is the focus on breathing. Proper breathing techniques are one of the core concepts of Pilates. You will be trained of the importance of deep breathing and complete flushing of the lungs to remove toxins from the body, while enriching the blood with high amounts of oxygen. Do not take this step lightly. Martial arts, yoga, and many other training methods around the world emphasize breathing, and have proven their effectiveness at increasing total body health.

In your Pilates class you will work on stretching and elongating your body. The movements of stretching and then recovering from the stretch both lengthen muscles and strengthen them. You are developing the long graceful looking muscles of a dancer, gymnast, or swimmer. Alignment of your body is one of the primary focuses in Pilates. Building the core of your body to support a straight spine, aligned muscles, and proper skeletal balance are critical in Pilates. This focus is intended to allow your body to have balanced health and strength instead of developing a strong and weak side. By creating proper balance you eliminate the possibility of many annoying sports injuries. Injuries can often occur when one portion of the body is more powerful than the opposite side.

Many exercise regimens discuss the importance of motivation, excitement, and being positive. A Pilates class is going to take you to a new level. You are going to learn about the mind-body connection. Learning to think properly, with alignment with your body extends the effectiveness of your workout. The opposite is true, also. Your Pilates workout is going to strengthen your mind, creating deeper relaxation, and an inner calmness. The change in your spirit and body will show up in everything you do. Your family and friends will quickly begin to notice the difference in your life.

Aerobics, weight training, and most other forms of exercise focus on fast, sudden movement. Pilates exercise teaches you to flow smoothly. You are going to create your power and fitness through a form of movement which makes you think of water flowing gently down a stream, the smooth movements of branches in the breeze, the graceful movements of a cat. You will discover every movement, every muscle, and every thought can flow together to give you a level of both mental and physical fitness you never have felt before.

Enrolling in a Pilates class is an investment in not only your physical fitness but in your mental wellbeing, too. If you want to experience a completely new way of changing your body and mind Pilates may be exactly what you want.

What are the Benefits of a Swedish Massage?

 Health  Comments Off on What are the Benefits of a Swedish Massage?
May 112010
 

Building and maintaining a healthy and strong body encompasses various elements, some of which often get overlooked by people – and not just beginners, more advanced and proficient bodybuilders sometimes tend to ignore the importance of some auxiliary tools and activities which can greatly contribute to developing your body. Take massages for example – most people are probably aware of their benefits, at least to some extent – but how many utilize this potential for their own gain? Not a lot. And if you’re not getting your regular massage therapy, you’re depriving your body of many benefits!

When talking about massage as a means of therapy, there are generally a few popular types of massage techniques, one of which is the so-called “Swedish Massage” – it’s interesting to note that the term seems to be of rather ambiguous origin, as most Swedes aren’t aware of that specific name. Regardless, it’s one of the most prominent types of massage, and also one of the most popular (and thus widely available) as well. The Swedish massage is mainly characterized by its long strokes with a steady flow. It’s very useful for treating pain and stiffness, as well as dealing with various muscle and joint conditions.

One of the most noticeable benefits of Swedish massage though, is the improvement in blood circulation. The massage incorporates various techniques that are aimed at dilating your blood vessels – so if you’re experiencing problems related to your blood flow, you should notice a hue improvements in this area alone. Proper blood circulation is crucial for achieving a general state of well-being, as it improves the rate at which oxygen reaches your organs, while also allowing your body to deal with toxins and other harmful substances much more quickly and reliably.

Your muscles tend to build up a lot of pressure during workout – and not only. Your body accumulates tension on a constant basis, and if you don’t help release it every so often, you’re going to notice some problems, the most noticeable of which is a constant feeling of being “down.” Massages, especially the Swedish massage, go a great length towards getting rid of built-up muscle tension, and this is in fact the primary reason for many people to regularly visit their massagist.

Releasing your muscles’ tension will not only help you feel better and more relaxed, it will reflect on your workout performance as well – your muscles will be able to move around much more freely and easily, and you’ll feel more energetic and empowered. Last but not least, relaxed muscles make it far less likely for you to fall victim to any training injuries, and you’ll also need to warm up and stretch far less before working out, as your muscles will already be partly stretched and in a good condition for training.

It doesn’t take a lot – just get a regular massage every once in a while and you’ll notice a huge improvement!

Shiatsu Massage – All You Need to Know

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May 112010
 

When it comes to exploring the ways to improve one’s health, the Japanese are surely known as one of the best and most knowledgeable. It’s no surprise that they are also the creators of one of the most prominent massaging therapy techniques, Shiatsu. Shiatsu combines various therapeutic activities that benefit the body greatly, while also paying great attention to the needs of the spirit – basing the entire study on the idea that a healthy body cannot exist without an equally healthy mind running it.

The body energy, known in Eastern cultures as Chi (or Qi), plays a great role in Shiatsu – it’s a common belief in Shiatsu practitioners that in order for a body to be healthy and strong, it must have an uninterrupted, proper flow of Chi inside it. The therapy involves several techniques aimed at the places where Chi’s movement commonly becomes problematic, allowing the body to be rejuvenated and refreshed.

The technique is known to be very useful in treating various conditions, such as headaches – from minor ones to migraines; joint problems, like swelling and stiffness (which are notoriously hard to get rid of); and also problems related to your mental state that are stemming from your poor flow of Chi – you’ll feel more energetic and lively, and you’ll find yourself in a positive mood a lot more often.

According to the Shiatsu teachings, your body is divided into several “meiridians,” the most important two of which are the Governor Vessel and the Conception Vessel – the first one is located on the back of your body, while the Conception is along your front. The therapist will first have to diagnose your body’s condition by feeling you and trying to discover places where Chi’s flow is interrupted – they’ll also ask you questions to make this process easier, and you should try to think of any ailments you’re having or have had on a regular basis.

The general style of applying Shiatsu involves using various parts of the therapist’s body, including the entire hands (palms, fingers and knuckles), and also some parts of the legs such as the knees and feet, and even toes. It may seem strange to one who’s not familiar with the process and technique, but there’s a lot of logic and sense behind it for those practicing it and studying the Shiatsu.

A good Shiatsu massage will leave you feeling fresh and rejuvenated. The feeling should be noticeably different than that left after other popular types of massage, but you should find it just as enjoyable – some say that they like it even more. The important thing is, though, that by freeing your pressure points and allowing Chi to flow through your body freely, you will feel better not only physically, but mentally – which is something not every type of massage can give you.

Easy Relaxation Techniques

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May 112010
 

Stress – the main enemy of so many people nowadays. It just seems to creep into our lives and cause all sorts of trouble, it comes without warning and can be very difficult to get rid of. When it comes to dealing with stress, everyone has their own tricks that they use – but there are some more general techniques that you can use to easen both your body and your mind and achieve a deep, profound state of relaxation.

One of the most popular and commonly used relaxation techniques involves using a personal object. It can be anything, but it should be small and easy for you to concentrate on. Just take it in your hands and attempt to focus your entire attention on it. Don’t let any thoughts cross your mind, if they do just bring your attention back to the object and keep trying. It may be difficult in the beginning, but you’ll find that as you keep doing this more and more often, you’ll get better in it every time, and you’ll be able to relax more easily the next time you try it. The final result of this exercise should be an overall better state of well-being and a feeling of satisfaction.

Stretching can also benefit stress relief greatly – it doesn’t really matter if you follow it with some actual exercises or you just do it on its own. The important thing is that stretching can help easen your muscles, while also helping you let off some steam from your mind, as you’ll become engulfed in your exercise. What muscles you’ll choose to stretch exactly depends entirely on you, just make sure that you stretch your body as a whole enough and don’t pay too much attention to a single area or muscle group.

Of course, your relaxation efforts will prove to be largely unsuccessful if you don’t manage to prepare your environment accordingly. You’ll need to do the techniques in a calm, peaceful environment, with as little interference from technology as possible. Try to pick a room in your home that’s mostly empty, and keep it well-ventilated and moderately lit. You don’t want to be in complete darkness, yet try not to make things too bright either. There’s a really fine balance there that you will find sooner or later, it will just take you a few tries.

Be sure to try out various different relaxation techniques as well – with so many of them out there, you just can’t be sure you’ve tried everything. Always be on the lookout for new things, so that your mind doesn’t get bored with what you’re feeding it on a constant basis. That said, you’re also very likely to find out a technique or two that really helps you a lot – in that case, stick to that technique, incorporate it into your daily routines even – whatever it takes to get your body and mind in a more peaceful and relaxed state.

Healing Your Body and Mind Through Reiki

 Health  Comments Off on Healing Your Body and Mind Through Reiki
May 112010
 

Reiki is a spiritual technique used for enhancing the mind and freeing it up from the stress and anxiety that accumulates through everyday life. It was developed almost a century ago in Japan, and is based largely around the hands as a point of applying the healing techniques. Reiki also involves the idea of Chi (or Qi), our “spiritual energy”, which according to the general theory is the energy that flows through the body and gives it life. Reiki aims at improving the body’s natural flow of Chi, which can be easily interrupted by various factors – and this must, of course, be prevented at all cost.

Before going any further, it should be noted that Reiki is not a religion of any form – it’s simply a study for improving your well-being, but it does not require you to significantly change your lifestyle or alter your views in any major way. That’s an important point to make, as many people seem to be under the wrong impression that Reiki requires much more dedication from them than it does in reality. On the other hand, Reiki does teach you several important principles, which, if followed, will ultimately help you to live your life in the best and most fulfilling way possible.

Those file principles are known as the Five Reiki Precepts, and are as follows: do not be angry; do not worry; be grateful; work for diligence; be kind to people. As you can see, all of these can be applied to a regular person’s lifestyle without them having to sacrifice anything – in fact, you can easily see how following those five principles can improve your life as a whole. They all work towards bringing harmony in your spirit – and this, in turn, calms your body and strengthens it.

Reiki works largely based on the interaction between a patient and the practitioner applying the healing – every session, the practitioner “scans” the student’s body to find problematic spots and applies Reiki healing to them. It’s crucial that the process happens in person, and this is a requirement by many Reiki-related organizations. On a related note, there are various Reiki courses available online, where you can be taught to practice it by yourself – but you should remember that to have the fullest effect from the healing, you need to look for the services of an actual Reiki healer in person.

You should be prepared to perform the process at least once a week, and it can take anywhere from half an hour to 90 minutes – so make sure you plan accordingly. It’s best if you can arrange to get it done at the same time every week, so if your plans allow for that, definitely do go for it – it will allow your body to adjust to the healing procedures much faster, and you should notice a much better improvement for shorter periods of time.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation – How it Can Help You

 Fitness Tips, Health  Comments Off on Progressive Muscle Relaxation – How it Can Help You
May 112010
 

Relaxation is an important aspect of everyone’s life where well-being is appreciated – you can’t expect to be efficient in your everyday activities and to think clearly on a regular basis unless you take some time to clear your mind properly at regular intervals. And the best way to clear the mind goes straight through the body – a strong, healthy body will guarantee you the equivalent state of well-being in the mind. But how do we achieve this?

Progressive muscle relaxation is the name of a specific system of techniques aimed at inducing a very deep and profound state of relaxation. The system was developed around the 1920s by Dr. Edmund Jacobson, who based it on his discovery that a muscle can be very easily relaxed if one is to first apply tension to it for several seconds, and afterwards release it. Doing this in a systematic pattern throughout the body will eventually put you in a state of deep relaxation, which is capable of assisting you in dealing with various health conditions and issues.

The original system encompassed around 200 unique muscle relaxation exercises, but it’s not required to practice all of them if you want to achieve good progress with the technique – in most cases, doing around twenty will do you just fine, and you should be able to experience the full benefits of the system. One of the best things about the progressive muscle relaxation technique is that, by eliminating muscle tension, you’ll feel much more free and unconstrained as a whole.

The technique isn’t difficult to perform, and won’t take up much of your time either – in most cases, doing it for around 20-30 minutes daily should be more than enough. Take note that proper relaxation is a sort of a skill in itself, so you’ll get better at it as time goes – you’ll find that in the beginning, most of your time is spent trying to actually induce the state of relaxation, while later on you’ll be able to enjoy its effects for longer, as it will take you much less time to produce the desired effect.

It’s important that you have a proper schedule for it and that you stick to it strictly – set apart a specific time of the day for performing the exercises, and try not to deviate from it even by minutes – this will attribute to your body getting used to the technique much quicker. It’s also crucial that you pick your environment appropriately – you don’t want to practice this in a place that gets you tense and nervous. Make sure you’re in a secluded place, preferably dark. It’s also a good idea to make sure you’re far away from technology.

Your posture will determine the results of your exercises a lot, so practice until you get it perfect – if you know how to sit up straight and align your body properly, you’ll be able to get your entire body relaxed much quicker.

Preparing the Setting for Meditation Techniques

 Health  Comments Off on Preparing the Setting for Meditation Techniques
May 112010
 

If you’re looking to live a healthy life with a strong, properly built body, then taking the time to learn some correct ways to meditate will be just as important as paying attention to the physical aspect of your workout. You’ll need to rest and relax your mind, which will allow your body to be much more efficient in everything, and free you up of any negative energy that tends to build up regularly. But becoming good at meditation takes a lot of practice, and most importantly, patience – if you’re not prepared to take the time and learn every technique properly, you should best not bother at all, as the results are more likely to be frustrating to you.

First and most importantly, you need to take the time and prepare the environment properly. You can’t expect to achieve good results in meditation if you can’t relax properly due to distractions around you. To prevent this, prepare the room by shutting the windows and dropping the blinds – try to control the only light sources, so that you fully control the mood and setting. Next, turn off any electronics and get rid of the small ones – electronics can interfere with your body’s flow of energy and make it harder to adjust it properly, so you’ll need to get rid of as many of them as you can.

One of the best things you can to provide appropriate lighting is to use candles. Candles are quite unique in the way they illuminate a room, in that they provide a moody, calming light unlike any artificial electrical sources. If you can, get rid of anything that’s powered by electricity and only leave the room to be illuminated by candles. This will contribute a huge deal to getting the best out of your practice, and will ensure a nice and calming setting.

The flow of air is another very important element – you need to control that carefully, and provide the room with a constant and good air circulation. If you can’t breathe in a relaxed manner while meditating, this will trouble you to a great extent – so try to minimize the amount of interference with your breathing as best as possible. However, don’t resort to air conditioners and similar pieces of technology – try to keep it natural as best as you can, otherwise you risk compromising the results. As we said above, keep the amount of electronics operating in your meditation room to an absolute minimum.

If you live in a busy setting (for example, sharing an apartment with another person/several other people), it can pay off greatly to coordinate your meditation with your neighbors. Talk to them and try to get them to see things from your angle, and arrange for them to provide you with a window of silence at a given time each day. How easy this will be depends entirely on them, of course – but most normal people should understand your situation and provide you help accordingly.

Using Meditation For Healing

 Health  Comments Off on Using Meditation For Healing
May 112010
 

Meditation has been used for centuries by people to improve their well-being, and deepen their perception of the world around them. Its benefits are very real, and it can be really useful for making your life better and overcoming your greatest difficulties – but it can also be very hard to master. Meditation requires, above all, patience – if you’re not prepared to be patient with your own body’s quirks, you shouldn’t expect to make much progress in meditation at all. You’ll be hindered by some things in your mind initially, but as you get better and overcome them, you’ll find that it’s all really worth it.

Most types of meditation involve imagining something. The specific theme varies from technique to technique, but there are several ones which you’ll find mentioned and used a lot more commonly than the others. The first and probably most popular is called the Oak Tree Meditation – to perform it, you need to sit down, resting your arms by your body. Afterwards, close your eyes and begin breathing deeply. Your breathing should be as slow and relaxed as possible.

Then, you’ll need to let your imagination kick in and envision your body as an oak tree – a large, powerful one with deep roots and strong, heavy branches. Keep telling yourself that your body is as solid as the tree’s trunk, try to feel the roots going into the ground from your body. The result of this meditation should make you feel really strong and “unbreakable,” you’ll feel you’re able to deal with any stressful situation.

There’s also a technique that involves “shrinking” your problems. Again, a lot of imagination will be required here. Sit down – or better yet, lie down – and make yourself comfortable. You should then try to focus on the one thing that’s been a primary cause of stress for you lately – it can be a person, an object, a memory, even a feeling – whatever it is, try to envision it, see it clearly before you. Question yourself about specific details in it so that the picture becomes even clearer.

After you’ve began to clearly see your problem, imagine it shrinking down, more and more. Don’t do it too quickly or you’ll ruin the illusion and your mind won’t follow up on the imagination’s product – but see the stress causer begin to get smaller and smaller, until it eventually fits into your hand. From then, continue seeing it shrink. In the end, you should see it fit on the tip of your finger, and then it’ll get even smaller and simply disappear. The feelings this will produce in you will be mixed between feeling eased and relaxed, but also slightly amused at the sight of the cause of your stress going away like that. Psychologically, the technique instills a sense that your problems aren’t as big as they seem, and can be defeated easily if you just look at them a bit more calmly.

Lower Back Stretching Tips

 Exercises, Health  Comments Off on Lower Back Stretching Tips
May 112010
 

Stretching is one of the best remedies for accumulated tension in your muscles, and we all know how much tension tends to accumulate in the lower back area – this is what makes stretching it a common necessity for many people, both hobbyist bodybuilders as well as professional athletes. We’ve provided some simple tips for stretching your lower back below, which will hopefully make this a bit easier for you.

A chair can be very useful for stretching the back, and can be utilized in several ways. For your first stretching exercise, you can try the following: first, sit in a chair in a normal sitting position, your feet touching the ground. Then, using your left hand, hold on to the chair’s seat and slowly turn your body to the left, so that you’re looking backwards over the shoulder. You should hold yourself in this position for several seconds – it’s best to measure in breaths – then release it and face in the default direction. You should repeat this 3-5 times, switching sides so that you equally stretch both.

Another exercise you can do with a chair starts in the same position as above, only this time you’ll be lowering your upper body so that your chest eventually touches your thighs/knees. The ultimate goal is for your hands to be touching the ground – after you’ve reached this position, hold it for several seconds, just as described above. Release by raising yourself and repeat 3-5 times.

There are, of course, exercises for lower back stretching that don’t involve using a chair. For example, you can use the “cat stretch” – get on the ground on all fours (you can use your bed if you’re not comfortable on the ground), then begin raising your head slowly. In the same time, lower your middle torso (around the abdominal area) to the ground, which will curve your back into an arch. Keep going like this until you can no longer do it comfortably, and retain this position for a few seconds. Then, the second phase of the exercise involves stretching your back in the exact opposite direction – raise your spine up and lower your head in the same time, bringing your chin as close to your chest as possible.

To get the best out of the cat stretch, you should start doing it in the opposite directions repeatedly, increasing the pace and distance little by little with each repetition. You should feel a great sense of relief in the end.

Breathing is very important when stretching – remember to breathe in and breathe out as you’re performing the various parts of the stretching exercise, as this will properly supply oxygen to your muscles and help them relax and stretch properly. Proper breathing technique takes a lot of time to master on its own, but it will bring you a lot of benefit in your stretching exercises if you take some time to learn it.

Holistic Healing – An Overview

 Health  Comments Off on Holistic Healing – An Overview
May 112010
 

Medicine today is split up in several schools, each concentrating on curing diseases and conditions through different means. Traditional medicine, for example, puts more emphasis on (as its name implies) more traditional methods, such as using herbs and natural products to induce healing. Modern medicine tends to be the complete opposite of that idea, using the latest in technological advances to aid the patient and help them in their well-being.

But there is a concept known as holistic healing which sees recognition in most, if not all, of medicine’s different schools, and is accepted as a valid idea for improving one’s health. The idea is that the body’s health doesn’t come directly from its physical condition, but is a combination of your physical, psychological, and emotional state. Thus, according to holistic healing principles, to attain perfect health, one must take equal care in ensuring that all of the aspects of their lives are developed equally.

Several things need to be changed in your lifestyle if you want to get as close as you can to perfection in your health. First and most important, you need to review your diet and completely re-design it, throwing out all the junk food and unhealthy stuff. This may seem like common sense for getting healthy in general, but it actually contributes to the well-being of your spirit, thus helping you improve your overall health.

Next, in regards to feeding, you should do your best to avoid any toxic substances, or ones that otherwise hurt your body. This can include a variety of things, and yes, it includes alcohol and tobacco too – if you can get rid of those from your lifestyle completely, this will be your first major step in defeating bad health and living a good life.

Sleep is also a very important point in holistic healing – it’s been proven countless times that a proper sleeping schedule can improve your health greatly, and it can certainly contribute to a healthy spirit a great deal – that’s why you should dedicate some time to fixing up your sleep schedule and making sure that you get not only enough sleep, but the good kind as well (i.e., oversleeping can be just as bad as sleeping too little).

If you want to truly unleash the power of your spirit, the best way to do that is by expressing yourself creatively. There are numerous ways to do that and we won’t go into detail on how every one works, but generally, if there’s something you enjoy doing that has a final result of producing something unique, you should concentrate on that as much as you can, as it will help your spirit alignment.

As you progress, you will probably start paying attention to other aspects of holistic healing as well, such as meditation and possibly yoga or something related – but these things will come as time goes. In the beginning, it’s important to build a strong foundation for your beliefs so that you can know you’re doing this for a specific, viable purpose.

Breathing Techniques for Relaxation

 Fitness Tips, Health  Comments Off on Breathing Techniques for Relaxation
May 112010
 

Breathing is one of the most important aspects of any relaxation practice. Without learning to control your breathing properly, you shouldn’t expect to be able to properly induce a state of relaxation on your body and heal yourself by healing your mind. However, before learning some of the more advanced breathing techniques, one should really take the time to familiarize themselves with the very basics of breathing – something which many people believe they already know, when in fact they don’t.

So what’s so special about breathing properly? To learn how to do it, you need to lie down, and relax your entire body with your arms by your side and your legs pointing forward, slightly spread apart. Then, begin slowly breathing in through your nose. This is an important point – you’re given a nose for a reason. It contains many little hairs which are there to catch dust and other particles, preventing them from getting inside your airways. Thus, always breathe in through the nose and not through the mouth when you can.

Now, the crucial part of breathing properly is to actually use your whole lungs, and not just the upper parts as most people do – when you’re breathing, take note of how your body is moving. You should see your abdomen rising with every inhalation, while your chest sinks slightly – likewise, when you’re exhaling, your abdomen should lower itself slightly while your chest will rise. You may notice that only your chest seems to be moving when you’re breathing – this is an indication that you’re doing it wrong. Practice until you feel you’re performing the technique correctly.

To perform a deeper breathing, you’ll need to breathe mainly through your abdomen. To do this, place your hands on your body – one on the chest and one on the abdomen – and use them to feel where your breathing is going. You should not raise the hand that’s on your chest at all, or raise it as little as possible, while your abdomen hand should go up and down rhythmically. You should do this in sessions of 5-10 minutes, and repeat it every day when possible to achieve the best results and get the most benefits out of it.

There’s also a technique called imaginative breathing which has been known to greatly improve any person’s state of well-being if applied properly. To do it, you’ll first need to lie down as we described earlier. This time though, place your hands on your chest, around your solar plexus. Close your eyes and begin breathing deeply, as you imagine the following picture in the same time: your body is filled with energy with every inhalation, and this energy rushes out to fill the body. Likewise, every time you exhale, the energy gets spread out across your body. Keep imagining this as best as you can, and repeat this procedure every day for several minutes for best effect – after a few days, you should notice a definite sign of improvement in your mental condition.

Exercises to Improve Your Breathing

 Exercises, Health  Comments Off on Exercises to Improve Your Breathing
May 112010
 

Learning how to breathe properly is perhaps the biggest step you can take to improving your state of well-being – both physically and mentally. Your breathing technique can have a huge impact on your performance in anything – from sports to everyday life – so you should take some time to master it and even learn some advanced breathing techniques which will help you, again, improve your health.

Before you begin learning how to breathe properly though, you should first check how you’re doing it specifically – to do this, use your hands and place them on your torso while laying down, one hand on the chest and the other on the abdomen. If you’re breathing correctly, you should notice both hands moving up and down regularly as you’re inhaling and exhaling. In most people, it’s common that only the chest hand moves and the abdomen one remains mostly stationary – in this case, to improve your breathing you’ll need to learn how to use your abdomen.

There are many techniques that can help you breathe with your abdomen better, but we really shouldn’t go into detail on those in this article – they go more in the area of advanced breathing techniques, and that’s not what this is about. However, the most basic exercises you can do to improve your abdominal breathing involve, again, your hands – use them to monitor your breathing as you do it, and follow the movement of the hand on your abdomen. As you improve your ability to breathe with it, begin pushing down with your hand slightly – this will make it a bit more difficult to breathe, and you should increase the pressure as you become better with the exercise.

There’s also a technique that can be used to produce an instant rush of energy, while also actually strengthening some of the muscles used in breathing (such as those in your neck, abdomen and around the lungs). To do it, simply close your mouth and begin inhaling and exhaling through the nose very rapidly – you should do it in small “sets” of about 10-15 seconds, not more. It can be a bit hard getting the increased breathing speed right at first, but you should definitely be able to do it after a few tries. You’ll also notice that it gets easier as you progress, and you’ll feel tension in the areas that we mentioned above – that’s because you’re actually putting strain on the muscles there!

We did say that you should do it for 15 seconds maximum, and that point deserves to be repeated – this exercise, while very useful, can also be very dangerous to your health if you’re not careful. There’s a condition called “hyperventilation” which is induced by breathing too heavily, and it can have very serious consequences – so limit your durations accordingly to avoid harming yourself! Really, we can’t stress this enough – you need to use a lot of common sense when it comes to breathing techniques.