I hope that this time spent away from me has been productive and healthy. I want my words to reach you after you turn off the computer and live your life. People are telling me that as they go about their normal activities, they remember me telling them to drink water or check their posture and they feel better overall. That is a really good feeling...it makes me feel light and airy, which is especially good when my heart is heavy or full of worries and doubt. I get the same feeling when I breathe properly.
Breathing properly can heal you. It can take away physical, mental, and spiritual pain. The breath can do what pills still cannot do - heal your ailments, instead of masking them.
I know you're looking at me right now like, "Whatchutalkinabout, SeeLaH?" Fix your "Arnold" face. LOL
Sit up straight. Stop crossing your feet (Tyesha!! hehehe) and make sure that your knees do not come over your toes. Your feet should be hip distance apart and be firmly grounded on the floor. Keep your shoulders down and back and your neck up. You don't need to stretch it too far up, but it should feel like your head is lifted from the rest of your body. Make sure your head is not tilted too far forward either. Lift your torso up so you feel like it's separated from your hips. Relaxed now? Feel better? Good. Because I didn't stutter (you know the rest) ;)!! HEHEHE
To truly understand where I am coming from, I have to break down the breath in two ways: Air and Life.
I have already explained to you the "air" aspect of the breath. You know how the respiratory system works and the benefits of the air you breathe to your cells and your life. However, this is the physical manifestation of the breath. There is another aspect that more people need to be aware of. People need to understand the balance between air and life.
Now the "Life" aspect of the breath is more...metaphysical. In Indian tradition, what I am talking about is called "prana." In Chinese tradition, it is called "Chi." The Western World calls it the "Spirit." This life force permeates through all things and is contained in the air we breathe. I can go on and on about how "Life" works and what it can do for you but I'm going to save that for the last part of this series, when I talk about the various methods for you to breathe properly and move forward into meditation. ;)
In the meantime, I'm sure you're wondering how to breathe properly in the first place. Matter of fact, I'm sure you've been waiting to hear how to do it since the last post!! LOL I'm sorry to delay you. Don't worry...I'm not Howie Mandel from Deal or No Deal. You don't have to wait until a commercial break to figure out how to breathe properly. :D
First thing I want you to do is understand where you are when it comes to breathing. So place one hand on your chest and one hand on your stomach. Breathe in regularly. Where do you feel most of the air? What rises when you inhale, your chest or somewhere else? If you feel the most air in your chest, then (obviously) you are a chest breather. If you feel it in your stomach, then you don't need me. LOL ;)
So for all you chest breathers out there, I want you to try the following:
When you inhale, push your stomach out. Feel the air circle around your stomach.
When you exhale, push your stomach in. As you exhale, all the air should go out of your stomach.
Here is another exercise you can do to make sure that you're breathing properly:
I want you to look at the palms of your hands.
Now flip them and press your sides. Your thumb should be at the front of your body and the rest of your fingers should be pressed against your back.
The best place to put your hands is at the bottom of the ribcage. If you should be able to feel the last rib or two, if you're doing this correctly.
As you inhale, you should feel the air around the bottom of your ribcage/middle of your back and you should feel your hands moving outward.
When you exhale, you should feel your hands go back to the normal position.
The first exercise is to show you what should happen when you properly breathe. When you breathe into your diaphragm and abdomen, you are able to take in the most air possible. Actually, you can take in up to 50 times your normal capacity when you breathe in this manner. The second exercise is so that you can feel the air in your body...so that you can better understand the "life" aspect of the breath. The air goes in one or two places, starts the oxygenation of the cells, and then comes back out. It's the "life breath" that travels throughout your body and helps you to heal.
I understand that these concepts maybe a bit difficult to understand...at first. I also know that for some people, especially those who are overweight and obese, this maybe even difficult to feel or see. That is where your mind comes in. Imagination is key when you can't actually understand or feel what I am asking you to do. If you put your hands at your sides and can't feel your ribs, that's ok. Imagine the breath traveling right under your hands. Imagine the breath moving your body outward and inward as you inhale and exhale (remember...proper breathing is inhale....push your stomach out. Exhale...push your stomach in. Inhale = outward, exhale = inward...it's sounds real opposing, doesn't it!)
You should also make it a habit to practice these breathing techniques using your nose only. If you have to use your mouth, only use it on the exhale. So I would prefer you to breathe in with your nose (mouth closed) and exhale out your mouth (nose open LOL). I only want you to practice this way if you have to. Otherwise, nose in and nose out.
Like I said in the last post, take your time with this. If you feel any discomfort, if you feel your heart racing or beating too fast, or if you get nervous because you feel like you can't feel your heartbeat, then stop what you're doing and return to your normal breath. Doing these breathing exercises helps you to relax. Most people feel calm after doing either one of these exercises three times (3 inhales/exhales).
So when you're stressed out, take these deep breaths. You can also breathe like this laying down in your bed or standing up. In my next blog, I will go deeper into these techniques by talking about methods to better your breathing as well as how breathing properly can help you to lose weight and help you to heal. I truly hope this works for you. Remember to take this slowly...it takes time to master. I'll see you next time.
In the meantime... stay strong,stay healthy, and fight dis-ease!Read more...