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Should we try to breathe from the abdomen all the time, in our daily life, even when not practicing energy exercises.
I feel as though i can fill my lungs far better if i breathe from my chest.
Could anyone tell me what the advantages of abdominal breating over chest breathing are.
In yoga pranayams they use both, so they obviously feel both have something to offer.
Thanks in advance
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When we are young, it has been observed that we breath from the lower abdomen but as we age somehow many of us shift to chest breathing, which is a shallower breathing.
Overbreathing is as bad as shallow breathing so we must be careful and not go to extremes.
Here is a short exerpt on the Butenkyo method linked for physiological background on breathing affecting acid/alkaline balance.
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the chestiness is misleading - you're actually putting more of your energy into breathing that way. its much more efficient to let your soft tissues move instead of your ribcage! try lying on the ground and breathing with your abdomen, then try and breathe with your chest, that will make the difference feel more pronounced.
also chest breathing does absolutely nothing for the lower 1/3rd of your lungs. its why old people that breathe almost exclusively with their chests are much more susceptible to pneumonia - prolonged chest breathing actually winds up sticking the alveoli in the lower lungs together (they sorta naturally do this but abdominal breathing inflates then and..."keeps the stream moving" )
there's lots of good releasing breaths you can do, lots of which have to do with chest breathing. all good for you. but you need a complex strategy for this so that all angles are covered, and abdominal breathing is certainly the "main course."
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