The Art of Breathing

Tadao Ogura, M.D.


VI. The Second Level: Reverse Breathing

When you have practiced Abdominal Breathing for some time and it has become comfortable and "natural" for you, you are ready to begin the practice of Reverse Breathing.

Reverse Breathing is almost the opposite of Abdominal Breathing. You must master this breathing technique in addition to the Abdominal Breathing before you will be able to move on to the next level, which is Total Breathing.

Reverse Breathing uses your chest muscles and cavity as well as your abdominal muscles and cavity. We started with Abdominal Breathing in order to break you of the bad habit of using only your chest to breathe. Now that you have mastered Abdominal Breathing, and it has become "natural" to you, you are ready to reincorporate the use of the chest in your breathing.

Because the entire upper body is involved in Reverse Breathing, this technique is known to stimulate all the internal organs even more than in Abdominal Breathing. This additional stimulation has been found to be effective for people suffering from obesity (because the internal organs become more efficient, and waste is removed more thoroughly from the body) as well as for people suffering from depression. You will feel more energized and uplifted through practice of this exercise.

The following section will take you step-by-step through this exercise.

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