Abdominal Breathing

Abdominal Breathing


Is Abdominal Breathing the same as diaphragmatic breathing?

— Jeroen, Netherlands


No, they are not the same, though many people use the two terms interchangeably. They do not realize that breathing in Abdominal Breathing refers to exchange of energy, whereas breathing in diaphragmatic breathing refers to exchange of air.

Abdominal Breathing, when practiced incorrectly, looks like diaphragmatic breathing. When practitioners breathe in -- energy in the case of Abdominal Breathing, air in the case of diaphragmatic breathing -- their abdomen rises. When they breathe out, their abdomen falls.

In the case of Abdominal Breathing, energy flows through the nose into the abdomen causing it to rise slightly when breathing in. Energy flows through the mouth out of the abdomen causing it to fall slightly when breathing out.

In the case of diaphragmatic breathing, the diaphragm sinks causing the abdomen to rise more visibly so as to enlarge the chest cavity as air flows through the nose into the lungs when breathing in. The diaphragm is pushed up causing the abdomen to fall more visibly so that air is pushed out of the lungs when breathing out.

Abdominal Breathing and diaphragmatic breathing are different as the former involves energy whereas the latter involves air. Uninitiated people, who may not differentiate between energy and air, think they are the same because the rise and fall of the abdomen looks the same when breathing in and out.

The above is taken from Question 8 August 2013 Part 1 of the Selection of Questions and Answers.


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