Many of us shallow breathe not using the full capacity of our lungs, therefore not getting enough oxygen into the body. Now we know that deep breathing could save your life it takes on a much bigger perspective.
A 59 year old man survived Covid-19 due to his deep breathing. NHS staff at the Gloucester Royal Hospital were reported as having named Rob Thomas ‘the king of breathers’ because of his deep breathing techniques. He not only contracted the virus but also initially had sepsis, and when he went into intensive care he was believed to have a 50/50 chance of survival during the first few days. Apparently his sister told him to ‘keep breathing’ and it worked, because he did not have to go on to a ventilator and eventually recovered.
Richard Kravetz, yoga teacher from Yoga For All, who provides chair yoga and mat yoga (currently online) for everyone whatever their ability or disability, explains how to practise deep therapeutic breathing into the diaphragm.
It is preferable to lie down with knees bent and feet on the floor (semi-supine position) but if this is difficult, a sitting position is OK. Try to breathe through the nose. Richard says, ‘Put one hand on your abdomen, one hand on the upper part of your chest and breathe, noticing how the chest, the ribs and the belly expand and rise as you breathe in, and relaxes on exhalation. This will enable the diaphragm to move more freely.’
Alternatively, Richard suggests you put your hands across the lower rib cage with the fingers touching, and during the in breath, the ribs expand and the abdomen rises the hands will move apart. As you breathe out the fingers will move back together.
Practise this as often as you can, and stay safe.
Richard Kravetz: http://www.yogaforall-uk.com/