Various breathing techniques include everything from those commonly used in yoga practices to techniques employed by athletes and methods taught in natural childbirth classes. Many breathing techniques are used for relaxation of the mind, spirit and soul as well as the body. Diaphragmatic breathing techniques are used by some individuals who suffer from extreme anxiety. In this form of breathing exercise, the individual learns the proper way to breathe through the diaphragm or stomach muscles, rather than the usual way of breathing through the nose and mouth.
Lamaze classes teach relaxation and breathing exercises for expecting mothers. To reduce pain without the aid of medications during labor, the patient will typically employ a certain type of breathing technique that helps her focus. In many cases, the woman's partner will participate with her, acting as her coach.
Transcendental meditation (TM) utilizes a breathing technique that is generally considered simple for many individuals to perform. The concept behind this technique is slowing the heart rate down. In the method of TM, meditation takes place for approximately 15 to 20 minutes a day. The method or approach is to concentrate on the breathing, becoming aware of each breath that is inhaled and exhaled. It is designed to enhance both mental and physical well-being.
The yoga breathing technique is designed to circulate and replenish the essential element of oxygen to the body. There are various principles in yoga breathing techniques, and each of these employs a specific purpose. These techniques are meant to be done gradually so the individual builds up to a tolerable level. Some individuals may experience health risks or symptoms if they start out too quickly, which is why it is generally recommended to have a qualified instructor guide the novice.
Many professional sports athletes find breathing techniques helpful. Techniques designated for runners involve inhaling or exhaling before beginning a race. Swimmers often use a specific type of diaphragmatic breathing.
Professional singers perform a specific type of breathing technique that helps them with their vocalization efforts. The control they use is designed to help them endure and suffer less fatigue during a performance. Deep breathing in conjunction with other exercises help vocalists focus as well. Many professionals take classes to learn this technique properly.
There are certain breathing techniques recommended by pediatricians to be performed on children. These should always be done under a parent's supervision. Techniques such as 'belly breathing' are used to help soothe or calm a child experiencing anxiety or restlessness. There are books and classes available that are dedicated to helping parents teach their children this technique.