Here is a short video that speaks briefly regarding the use of the lungs. I learned at a young age that the number one thing that will extend your life and keep your stress down is if you use your entire lungs to breathe. This Swami mentions something similar to what I learned.
The beautiful part about his understanding is that it seems to be rooted in his experience rather than standard ‘book’ learning. In other words, you can actually feel what he’s saying.
I would like to add to what he says in order to fill it out just a little. The lungs are like a pair of big balloons. Actually, each lung is like an inverted tree where the branches allow for air flows and the leaves are where the chemical reactions of respiration occur. When the air flows down into the lungs, if you only draw it half way, only half the tree works for you. Drawing it all the way allows every little ‘leaf’ to interact with the breath and perform respiration. You want to use the entire tree!
Notice what happens when you sit at a desk all day long. The spine stiffens up and the ribs tend to stop moving. When this happens, the top of the shoulders knot up and eventually, the body registers pain. The breathing is shallow and the air barely enters the body.
In order to directly counter pain from sitting, the fastest and most direct way is to start using more of your lungs. Breathe deep. Consciously allow the air to flow all the way down to the point where the abdomen is forced to move out of the way. Loosen restrictive clothing around the waist and fill up.
It also helps to move a little.
Ever wonder why singing is so good for you? Not only does it require deep breathing in order to carry the tune, but it creates vibrations in the body that trigger cells to shake lose what they no longer need, and accept the things that they do. Put on some good music and breathe!
Consciously Breathe. You’ll always feel better when you do!