How We Breathe 

The nature of our breathing is dependant on a number of factors including our stress levels, emotional state, posture, degree of muscular tension and diet. The diaphragm is the core breathing muscle and is strongly affected by all of these conditions.
Observing a baby or animal we notice that their whole abdomen inflates like a balloon as they breathe. This is because they naturally engage their diaphragm to draw air into their lungs.
As we grow older, our breathing tends to become shallower and more constricted as our diaphragm tightens and our breathing moves into our chest. We begin to use our intercostal muscles and other accessory muscles to help us breathe, rather than our diaphragm.
The diaphragm has strong connections with many of the internal organs, including the heart, lungs, liver, stomach, spleen and kidneys. When it moves during diaphragmatic breathing, the internal organs are exercised and more blood and oxygen is circulated within them.

Diaphragmatic breathing habits can have a wide range of beneficial effects such as:

Learning to Breathe Diaphragmatically

During qigong we’ll be exploring different techniques to help us return to natural diaphragmatic breathing.
We will begin with exercises to become more aware of the breath:

Quote from College of Integrated Chinese Medicine