Learn the Diaphragmatic Breathing Technique

in Mindset by Geoff Loomes B.Ph.Ed., B.Com., Dip.TLC / November 02, 2016

Learn the Diaphragmatic Breathing Technique

Belly (or diaphragmatic) breathing is an essential component for good health. It brings balance to our physiology and keeps many bodily functions strong, including our circulation, digestion and immunity.

Although we have evolved to breathe primarily from the belly, many factors such as high stress, poor posture and poor diet can interfere with this process and create a short, shallow breathing pattern instead. Shallow breathing can cause us to use more of our neck and chest muscles to move air through the lungs and override the diaphragm, which is perfectly designed for the job. 

Making simple changes to the way we breath can very quickly help to re-balance the body and reduce common ailments like neck tension, back pain, headaches, low energy and postural decline.

The Belly Breathing Technique

When learning this technique for the first time, aim to find a quiet, relaxed environment where you won’t be disturbed. 

To start the process, sit or lie comfortably. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Take a deep breath in through your nose and feel your belly expand out like a balloon filling with air. Breathe out through either your nose or mouth and feel the belly deflate. Take notice of how your upper chest and belly move while you breathe. Your upper chest should remain relaxed and allow the belly to rise and fall naturally.

With each breath, allow any tension in your body to slip away. Once you are breathing slowly and deeply with your belly, sit or lie quietly and enjoy this new state.

Belly breathing exercise (standing or lying):

1  Inhale for 4 seconds

2  Pause for 1 second (holding the breath)

3  Exhale for 6 seconds

4  Pause for 1 second (holding the breath).

If you are using this for your Mindset challenge, repeat the process for 15 minutes or break it up into smaller blocks over the day. Feel free to also modify the breath times in the exercise, to be longer or shorter if required.

A basic overview of the belly breathing technique is available to watch in the video below.


Geoff Loomes B.Ph.Ed., B.Com., Dip.TLC
Geoff has been passionately involved in the health industry since 1998, when he graduated from Otago University, New Zealand, with a double degree in Exercise Science and Commerce. Over the last two decades, Geoff has delivered health and fitness programs to hundreds of health professionals, fitness centres, and health conscious companies, and today, he is the director of his own Exercise Physiology practice and founder of the market-leading health software, My Health Challenge. 
Geoff’s vision is to create a healthier, more active world by providing customisable, user-friendly health solutions that motivate, educate and support sustainable change.
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