Vivian Grisogono


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Benefits: This exercie ensures a complete exchange of air throughout your lungs, so that the maximum amount of fresh oxygenated air is allowed in to replace the used de-oxygenated air. It prevents shallow, inefficient breathing. It helps you to recover function after a chest infection. It is an important antidote to tension. It also helps you to concentrate.
Good breathing control ensures that you will not hold your breath as a compensatory mechanism when doing other exercises, especially those involving the abdominals. There will therefore be a good oxygen supply available for your working muscles. This provides a good basis for gaining maximum benefit from aerobic types of exercise which increase your heart-lung fitness.
Position: Lie on your back with two pillows supporting your head, your knees bent, and your hands resting gently on the lower edges of your rib cage.
or: Sit on a comfortable upright chair with your back supported, and your feet flat on the floor. If possible, your head should also be supported.
Action: Breathe out gently through your mouth, letting your ribs sink inwards as the air leaves your lungs, then breathe in deeply through your nose: expand your lower ribs sideways and outwards and let your abdomen swell out slightly as the air goes to the deepest parts of your lungs, then let the upper part of your chest swell outwards while the abdomen sinks in a little; when your lungs are quite full, let the air go out of your mouth so that your ribs sink right down again.
Note: Keep your neck, shoulders and arms relaxed throughout the exercise. Keep your head in line with your trunk, facing forwards with your chin tucked in slightly Do the whole sequence in a continuous flow, not holding your breath at any stage. Breathe out slightly longer than you normally would, so that your lungs have emptied completely before you take the next breath in. If you feel dizzy, lie down if you have been sitting up, relax and breathe normally, still concentrating on breathing out fully but not forcefully before each breath in. (If you ever get seriously dizzy through over-breathing, as can happen when you sing for a long period, place a paper bag over your mouth and nose and breathe gently into that until you feel normal again.)
Repetitions and frequency: Repeat 3-4 times, then breathe normally for about 20 breaths, still concentrating on the movement of your ribs outwards and inwards. Repeat the sequence 3-5 times. Try to do the deep breathing sequence whenever you can, especially when you feel tired or stressed.
After injury: Breathing control and deep breathing exercises are essential after any injury to the ribs or chest. Do them as soon as pain permits and your doctor or practitioner allows.