Proper Breathing

Most people use only a fraction of their lung capacity for breathing. They breathe shallowly, barely expanding the ribcage. Their shoulders are hunched, they have painful tension in the upper part of the back and neck, and they suffer from lack of oxygen.

The three basic types of breathing

  1. Clavicular breathing is the most shallow and worst possible type. The shoulders and collarbone are raised while the abdomen is contracted during inhalation. Maximum effort is made, but a minimum amount of air is obtained.
  2. Thoracic breathing is done with the rib muscles expanding the rib cage, and is the second type of incomplete breathing.
  3. Deep abdominal breathing is the best, for it brings air to the lowest and largest part of the lungs. Breathing is slow and deep, and proper use is made of the diaphragm.


Actually, none of these types is complete. A full Yogic breath combines all three, beginning with a deep breath and continuing the inhalation through the intercostal and clavicular areas – more details can be found at Yoga & Inner Peace.


Conscious connected breathing is communication with the source of life and a deep peace within ourselves. With proper breathing the physical body feels lighter, freer and we are clearer in our thinking.

We will experience a more joyous outlook; emotionally we will be calmer and more serene in dealing with the situations that arise in our daily lives – another good source for more information is Energy Balancing International.

Proper breathing and Brainwaves

Proper breathing leads to much better bodily feeling. There is still a lot of misinformation, myths and misunderstanding going on about breathing. Telling people to breath in through the nose, into the abdomen and then let the air go out through the mouth will easily confuse the ones who are for some reason physically not that strong or who are suffering from emotional traumas.


“Every healthy person at rest normally breathes through the nose. Why should they not? However many people exerting themselves a little bit more can often be seen just breathing through their mouths. Athletes, divers, people who love to talk and lots of sex workers, etc., can be seen freely breathing through their mouths all the time. So breathing through the mouth is rather normal.


“Improving the way one breathes can be easily done by doing some specific exercises. The exercise can best be done through the mouth until one has reached a level of competence wherein one can experience the difference and can see and feel the remarkable results.


“Before one inhales, one needs to make sure that ones’ pelvic floor is completely relaxed. Then fully inhale from the bottom, pelvic floor, up while at the same time allowing the thorax to fully inflate. You can easily feel and see the breastbone, sternum, rising up. Every healthy and fit person, without even knowing, normally breathes that way because it is a completely natural way of breathing just like children do. We also breath that way when we cry or when we are getting angry. Babies have a different way of breathing; their breathing remains more in the belly, they hardly move and they sleep most of the time.


“When daydreaming, falling asleep, dozing off or going into meditation; our brainwaves will immediately change their frequency correspondingly. As a consequence our breathing will drastically slow down and any movement is going to withdraw itself deeper into the belly below the diaphragm. But as soon as we clearly wake up our thorax will fully inflate and expand itself again.”


Jelle schaegen


What are Brainwaves: click here.

The three basic types of breathing


What can be noticed is the rising of the sternum almost at the same time being followed by a wavelike motion of a protruding belly and the invisible bulging expansion of the pelvic floor that can be clearly felt by the breather. Please be aware that people suffering from emotional or mental problems can have constricted and/or deformed thoraxes which can impede their capacity to freely breath.


Trying to make them breath through the abdomen at that stage is definitely not going to help them very much. For any healthy human wanting to stand up for himself it is absolutely necessary to be able to optimally be able to inflate their chests.


Wim Hof on Impact Theory: click here.


Rebirthing Explained: click here.


Wim Hof on Impact Theory: click here.

Proper breathing helps control emotions

When we are emotional, breathing is on the “automatic pilot.” As we are focused on the object of our emotion, we hardly every consciously register the close relationship between emotions and breathing. When we are angry, fearful, or anxious, we over-breathe or as one would say in common parlance, we “huff and puff”.


In case of sadness, suspense, conflict or depression, we under-breathe, “hold our breath,” so to say. These changes in the breathing are automatic. Incidentally, there is a chain reaction of other physical changes, such as the release of chemicals, sympathetic, and parasympathetic nervous system activity, which accompany the changes in the breathing.


Why do we choose to talk about the relationship between emotions and breathing? Because breathing is a unique bodily function that can be “automatic,” that is, it can function on its own, without our deliberate effort to breathe and it can also be a conscious, “self-directed” and voluntary activity.


With deep abdominal breathing we can heal our bodies, our minds and our emotions. Most of us are stuck in poor breathing habits which are limiting us.


Also see Breathwork Techniques for Healing and Stress Relief.