This is the 7th in a series of posts exploring various breathing techniques. All of them are momentary aids to relieve stress & tension, to re-energize, re-focus and/or just feel good.
(You can register for the corresponding video series for free here.)
The 7th technique to explore is called the animal breath.
Instead of focusing on diaphragmatic (belly) breathing or purposeful chest breathing, we’re breathing into the space in between.
Put each hand on the side of your rib-cage.
That’s where we’re breathing.
Stand up with hands in place.
Let all your air out, empty your lungs completely.
As you breathe in, imagine or feel the air pushing your hands/rib-cage out to each side, as if your body is widening.
As you breathe out, don’t let your chest collapse; instead, imagine your head extending upwards.
This will mean your abdominal muscles will engage on the exhalation to maintain your posture.
Repeat for 2 more inhalations & exhalations.
Each one will only be a couple of seconds at most.
Don’t try to prolong too much.
Now, this next time you do it, as you feel your rib-cage expanding as wide as it can, re-direct the intent of your breath to the back of your chest/rib-cage/spine.
This is a real power-breath, like a power-pose.
Use it for increased focus & purpose and to raise your energy levels.