British Lung Foundation
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Breathing exercise 1. For a relaxing Sunday

Hi All.

Did send a truncated form of this yesterday to Don. Below more detail on the first Breathing Exercise. A gentle introduction for a freezing Sunday. For a start, I do recommend the swing arms for better health, as mentioned yesterday, to give you an initial energiser.

Today's exercise. Chinese medicine believes that breathing exercises have a number of positive benefits, for us all who have some form of breathing problems. It is suggested that these exercises strengthen the muscles involved in breathing, especially the diaphragm. It is thought that the diaphragm needs help in regaining its mobility, a small improvement in the diaphragm could mean a big gain in breathing. I have read (source was not shown- so health warning!) - but it was claimed that if the diaphragm expandability increases by 1cm, lung capacity grows by 250 millilitres. The first exercise develops the habit of abdominal breathing, a method characterised by long, slow, deep inhalation and exhalation.

We chesty people tend to rely on short, rapid respiration, relying primarily on chest muscles. Short rapid breathing reduces the efficient passage of air through the lungs, but also produces tension and fatigue to chest muscles. Abdominal breathing (AB) is especially beneficial for those who find difficulty in exhalation. AB depends upon contraction between the abdominal muscles and diaphragm. During inhalation the diaphragm, expands and moves down, creating a pressure that forces the abdominal cavity to rise and the chest to expand.

Best position for learning is lying on your back.

Support your head with a pillow. Place both of your hands on the Dan Tien 2" below your navel. Gents Right hand on Top , Ladies Left on Top. Then consciously breath in and out slowly and deeply in a relaxed manner. As you inhale, feel the abdomen rise and feel it fall as you exhale. Breath in through your nose, out through pursed lips (as if trying to whistle). Try if you can to exhale for twice as long as you inhale.

You can also practise mindfulness as you do this exercise. Just let your mind concentrate on your breathing. Listen to it, feel it, is it smooth, lumpy, jerky. Don't, I repeat don't worry if it is not smooth, but just listen to your breath and slow everything down. Start with 5 -10 mins longer if your comfortable and happy. Try to build up to 15mins a day - call it your time.

If you create saliva just swallow (Chinese call this Jade Fluid -Nb not Jeyes which is not recommended to swallow!). If you cough or create phlegm just get rid of it relax and carry on.

Enjoy your peaceful Sunday. Stay safe.

7 Replies

Many thanks 🙏



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Hello Tryfan,

Thankyou for this information. It takes me back to the days I used to do Yoga and enjoyed it.

I have an addition to this.,

Most mornings we meet a Chinese lady on our walks, and we recognise her from afar because she lifts both arms together at the sides to shoulder height so they are horizontal with her body and takes them slowly down to her sides,and she does this as she walks as long as she is in our view. She says it is for her breath control. I have tried it, when she is out of sight as I don't want her to think I am copying or worse and it is quite pleasant - like getting ready for take off. No-one has said I am bonkers, but there again none of the others have asked me why I am doing it. Typical British to pretend they have not noticed.


Thank you :)


Many thanks. I managed 15 mins and it was very relaxing.


This is great - thank you for going to the trouble Tryfan


Will try it


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