Breathing is a bodily function that occurs almost without your complete awareness. It is a very important bodily function because it delivers oxygen into the body and removes carbon dioxide out of the body. When you inhale, you inhale air that contains oxygen, which the lungs dissolve into the blood so that it can be delivered through the circulatory system to the different parts of the body. Most of the time, you inhale and exhale unconsciously. However, unlike the other involuntary bodily functions (such as the beating of your heart), you can actually control the lungs consciously. When you normally (i.e., unconsciously) breathe air in to your lungs, the lungs are usually not filled to capacity. Likewise, when you exhale, not all of the air inside the lungs is completely expelled. This means that some stale air remains inside the lungs. And, because this air is stale, it can be harmful to your well-being. Using awareness of your breathing, you can perform a breathing exercise that can cleanse the lungs. This article describes how to do the lung-cleansing breath.
- Do this exercise several times in the morning. Although this is just a suggestion, the early morning air is usually fresh and crisp, so it is a good idea to perform the exercise at this time of the day.
- Stand upright. Stand with your legs slightly apart. Relax your body, but keep it upright. Let your arms hang loose at your sides.
- Breathe twice or thrice. With your mouth closed, breathe in and out through your nostrils. This is your normal manner of breathing. Breathe in and out in this manner twice or thrice.
- Breathe out through your mouth. With your mouth, slowly exhale until you feel that almost all of the air has already been emptied from your lungs. Do not rush your exhalation. The truth is that there is still remaining air in the lungs. You will need to force that stale air out with the help of your diaphragm. You can do this by saying “Hah” several times until you are no longer able to. You will sound like you are panting. Do this many times until you feel that no more air is certainly left in your lungs. Your stomach and abdomen will tend to collapse inwards as you pant like this.
- Breathe in through your nostrils. Inhale through your nose slowly. Take in air until your lungs are filled to capacity. Breathe in slowly and smoothly.
- Hold your breath. For five seconds or so, keep the inhaled air inside the lungs. This will give your lungs enough time to mix the oxygen with the blood so that it can be circulated.
- Slowly release the air through your mouth. Exhale as in the manner described in step 4. Repeat the process as often as you like.
Apart from cleansing the lungs, this exercise is also said to work out the upper abdomen, owing to your use of your diaphragm to control your breathing. Perform this exercise regularly until it becomes a part of your daily routine. Once it does, you will notice a great improvement in your breathing, as well as in your general well-being because of the better intake of oxygen.