Breathing Diaphragmatically


Hi Friends,

When I inhale I can take in large amount of air but feel that belly doesnt move out as much as it should. Is it important that the outward movement of belly is synchronised with the inhalation? For e.g, sometimes my belly feels fully extended but the inhalation is only half way through so belly has to move up instead of out as the inhalation finishes.

Thanks for advice.

—Cyril, Ireland


Hello Cyril,

I wonder, How much is “as much as it should”? Different bodies work in different ways. I would say, don’t worry about that part. The fact that your belly expands at all puts you in the 90th percentile of Westerners!

Yes, the belly should indeed expand as you inhale, but how far it expands depends on how deep your breath is. For “resting” breaths, it might not expand much at all. Even for deeper breaths, the expansion will be limited, and at some point in the inhalation, the expansion will move up into the rib cage; you may even find the belly moving in a bit once the expansion moves into the rib cage.

It seems as though you are doing just fine. The important thing is that the belly is significantly involved with your breath, which indicates substantial involvement of the diaphragm (which is a good thing).

Keep breathing.