This method is simply a deepening of the breath. Take slow, deep, rhythmic breaths through the nose. When the diaphragm drops down, the abdomen is expanded allowing the air to rush into the vacuum created in the lungs. Then the chest cavity is expanded, allowing the lungs to fill completely. This is followed by a slow, even exhalation which empties the lungs completely. This simple breath practice done slowly and fully, with intention, concentration and relaxation activates all of the primary benefits of therapeutic breath practice. In Qigong and Pranayama the breath is retained for additional benefit.
- Health maintenance: 6 to 10 repetitions, 2 to 3 sessions per day.
- Health enhancement: 6 to 10 repetitions, 4 to 6 sessions per day.
- Disease intervention: Start slowly and build up to 15 to 20 repetitions, in 10 to 15 sessions per day.
- Getting started: 2 to 3 repetitions, once or twice per day. Remember to keep it easy and fun.
Other columns provide specific instructions for the following breathing practices: