To find out if you are breathing  with your diaphragm:


✦   Hold  one  hand  across  your  breastbone   and  the  other hand  on your tummy.  At rest there  should  be no upper chest movement  and  only very small movement  of the tummy.  The  tummy  will expand  as you breathe  in and contract as you breathe out. For this exercise, do not wear a very tight fitting belt, or clothes that will restrict abdom- inal breathing.  It may help if you open the top button  of your trousers if it is unduly restrictive.

✦   Sit up straight and adopt a correct posture.

✦   Imagine  that the back of your head is lightly suspended by a thread from the ceiling.

✦   Lengthen the distance from your sternum  (chest bone) to your navel.

✦   Have both feet flat on the floor.

✦  Relax  your shoulders  and upper chest; this is very important.

✦   With your lips lightly together, breathe in gently through your nose.


✦   Place one  hand  on  your  chest  and  one  hand  on  your tummy.

✦   Concentrate  on having very little movement  of the upper chest.

✦   Gradually reduce the amount  of movement  in your chest; having your hand on your chest will register this.

✦   With  your  other  hand,  direct  your  attention to  feeling your tummy  move  out  with each  inhalation  and  in on each exhalation.

✦   Repeat to yourself: breathe  out – tummy  in; breathe  in – tummy out.

OUT – IN     IN – OUT

✦   Imagine a loose elastic band around your waist stretching slightly (but only slightly) as you inhale, and contracting as you exhale.

✦   Focus on your stomach  expanding  with each inhalation and contracting  with each exhalation. These movements are noticeable but slight.


Practice this for ten  minutes  each day, in addition  to your exercises, until you have reduced upper chest breathing considerably.  It is important not  to practice for more  than ten   minutes   at  a  time   because   breathing   muscles   can become very tired.



Breathe In – Tummy Out

Breathe Out – Tummy In




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