Friday, December 17, 2010

Breathing for Life . . .

Do you know how to breathe?  Silly question, huh?

We breath thousands of times each day .  .  .  Each person will take between 15000 and 20000 breaths in 24 hours .  .  .  So, we all know how to breathe, right?  We inhale, we exhale, repeat, repeat, repeat .  .  .  Pretty easy .  .  .   The truth is, however, most people have no idea of proper breathing technique .  .  .  Proper breathing technique has profoundly positive physical and psychological benefits .  .  .  It helps to calm the mind, removes toxins from the body more efficiently, energizes mind and body, promotes better sleep, stimulates the immune system, decreases stress, harmonizes energy flow (prana) throughout the body .  .  .  There is no downside to proper breathing .  .  .

I've taught proper breathing and also some other specific breathing techniques to many people, and they all report positive benefits if they stay with the program .  .  .  Like anything else, it takes time for the benefits to accrue, but it's well worth taking that time .  .  .  And, it's painfully simple!    

Let's begin with the most basic of breathing .  .  .  Lie down on your back, close the eyes and relax .  .  .  Place the right hand on the abdomen with the palm centered over the belly button .  .  .  Inhale long and slow (3-5 seconds), first feeling the upper lungs filling in the collar bone area, then the rib cage expanding, and finally the abdomen rising .  .  .  The right hand will rise as the abdomen expands .  .  .  Hold that for a bit, then exhale feeling the abdomen pull back, then the rib cage dropping back, and then the upper chest dropping back .  .  .  Hold for a second or two, then repeat .  .  .  This is diaphragmatic breathing, the most efficient way to breathe .  .  .  This can be done for five minutes anytime, such as upon waking, before going to sleep, and anytime in between .  .  .  And, once we have the pattern down, we can do it sitting or standing anywhere we are .  .  .   Once we've practiced this for a period, it will become our normal way of breathing at all times .  .  .  Most people are shallow breathers, meaning they inhale into the upper chest only .  .  .  This is very inefficient, and is like driving a car with its air intake restricted .  .  .  It isn't going to work as well!  And neither do we if we are inefficient in the most basic thing we ever do, which is breathing .  .  .

Try it out, and keep practicing, and reap the benefits!  More to come on this topic .  .  .

Life is beautiful baby!

Peace and love .  .  .

Until next time .  .  .  Ciao!!     

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