Thoracic Breathing (Chest Breathing) Yoga & Its Benefits
Thoracic Breathing or Chest Breathing is inhalation done by expanding and contracting the ribcage. The middle lobes of the lungs are utilized in this type of breathing. The intercostal muscles are properly used to expand and contract the chest cavity.
Thoracic (Chest) Breathing Technique
- Lie in Shavasana and relax your whole body.
- Become aware of your natural and spontaneous breathing process.
- Place your right hand on the abdomen and the left hand on the chest.
- Start inhaling by slowly expanding the ribcage.
- Develop the feeling that all the individual ribs are expanding outward and upward creating more space for the air to be drawn into the lungs. The left hand also moves up with a negligible movement of the right hand.
- Expand your lungs as much as possible utilizing their full capacity.
- Start exhaling by contracting the ribcage and forcing the air out of the lungs. The left hand will come down too with the right hand moving the least.
- This is Thoracic breathing.
- Continue it for a few minutes, taking a small pause after each inhalation and exhalation.
- Then relax and again become aware of the natural and spontaneous breathing process.
- Become aware of the physical body, the surroundings, and then gently open the eyes.
Chest Breathing Benefits
- Thoracic breathing allows utilization of the middle lobes of the lungs and helps lungs to be fully inflated.
- It helps in freeing the joints of the ribs and the upper back.
- Thoracic breathing, when combined with abdominal breathing, helps the body to obtain more oxygen.
- It collects the maximum power of the human body and let you use it during the fight (or in other physical activities)
Diaphragmatic Vs Chest (Thoracic) Breathing
- Thoracic breathing utilizes the middle lobes of the lungs whereas, in Diaphragmatic / Abdominal Breathing, movement of the diaphragm enables the utilization of the lower lobes of the lungs.
- Thoracic Breathing expends more energy than abdominal breathing for the same quantity of air exchange.
- The man associates himself with Thoracic breathing when he is under physical exertion or doing exercise.
- This breathing is also experienced when a man is under stress.
- Abdominal breathing is the most efficient way to breathe, whereas thoracic breathing is not.
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