The total capacity of our lungs is about 6000 c.c., but during normal
breathing we only breath about 600 c.c. air per breathe in to our lungs.
In deep breathing the practitioner can inhale up to the total capacity of
the lungs, which increases breathing efficiency per breath. The normal
breath rate is 15 to 18 breaths per minute but in deep breathing this
rate is reduced to about 4 to 8 breaths per minute.
The air is inhaled mostly using diaphragm or muscle of respiration and
expanding the chest. The movement of abdomen helps the movement of
diaphragm. The intercostal muscles help the movement of chest. In this
the diaphragm movement requires less efforts than the rib movement and
more air can be inhaled as the diaphragm can be vertically moved up and
down to about 6 inches. So Deep breathing involves efficient movement of
Following are the benefits of Deep Breathing -
Due to slowing of respiration rate (15 breaths/min to 4 breaths/min), the
heart rate / pulse rate is reduced. The blood pressure is also reduced.
So deep breathing is very good for stress and related ailments.
More oxygen is made available per breath, making the breathing most
Conscious deep breathing greatly affects the cortical activities,
relaxing the nervous system, which calms the mind by removing thoughts
Enhanced movement of the diaphragm gives good massage to the internal
organs as liver, pancreas, stomach, heart, lungs are attached to the
diaphragm which is moved up and down during the breathing.
It is observed that the animals who breath slowly have more life span, so
reducing the breath rate with deep breathing may help increase the life
span of human beings.
1. Beginners can start with deep breathing practice in sitting position
of lying down position.
2. Initially the ratio of 1:1, that is inhalation and exhalation counts
are same. for example - 4 seconds inhale and 4 seconds exhale or 5 sec
inhale and 5 sec exhale. You may practice it for 5 minutes initially, and
gradually increase the time duration.
3. After practicing it for 10 minutes everyday, one can increase the
ratio to 1:2, that is exhalation is twice of inhalation. for example - 4
seconds inhalation and 8 seconds exhalation or 5 sec inhale and 10 sec