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.


basic types of breathing

The three basic types

  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.

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


At the root of all our thoughts, emotions and behaviours is the communication between neurons within our brains. Brainwaves are produced by synchronised electrical pulses from masses of neurons communicating with each other.

Brainwaves are detected using sensors placed on the scalp. They are divided into bandwidths to describe their functions (below), but are best thought of as a continuous spectrum of consciousness; from slow, loud and functional – to fast, subtle, and complex.

It is a handy analogy to think of brainwaves as musical notes – the low frequency waves are like a deeply penetrating drum beat, while the higher frequency brainwaves are more like a subtle high pitched flute. Like a symphony, the higher and lower frequencies link and cohere with each other through harmonics.

Our brainwaves change according to what we’re doing and feeling. When slower brainwaves are dominant we can feel tired, slow, sluggish, or dreamy. The higher frequencies are dominant when we feel wired, or hyper-alert.

The descriptions that follow are only broad descriptions – in practice things are far more complex, and brainwaves reflect different aspects when they occur in different locations in the brain.

Brainwave speed is measured in Hertz (cycles per second) and they are divided into bands delineating slow, moderate, and fast waves.

What are Brainwaves: click here.