stress

Breathe your way to Better Health

But Don’t I Already Breathe?

Correct breathing is slow, deep and rhythmic. Deep means that the initial movement is from the abdomen. When you breathe, the movement starts in the low abdomen and then moves up to the chest. To check your breathing, put one hand on your low abdomen and one on your chest and take a deep breath. What do you notice? If your chest rises up first you are probably using your neck muscles to breathe, not your diaphragm. Incorrect breathing contributes to:breathingguy.jpg

  • Muscle tension
  • Shortness of breath
  • Digestive concerns
  • Gastric reflux
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety

Purifies the bloodstream, develops chest and diaphragm, strengthens lungs and abdomen muscles, increases resistance to colds, aids digestion, clears up phlegm, helps to lift depression and calms the nervous system.

  1. Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position or in a chair.
  2. Straighten your back, which will straighten your thorax for easier breathing.
  3. Inhale slowly through the nose, breathing deeply, consciously looking upward.
  4. Take five seconds to fill the lower part of the lungs, expanding the ribs and pushing the abdomen out.
  5. Hold the breath for 1-5 seconds.
  6. Exhale slowly until you have emptied the lungs, looking downward.
  7. Repeat 4-5 times more.
  8. It is recommended that you practice the complete breath technique 5 – 10 minutes a day, for about 3 months. It is also a great technique to do when you are stopped at a stop sign, red light or standing in line.

Alternate Nostril Breath

Alternate nostril breathing is an effective way to calm the body and to relax. It is ideal to do as you are going to sleep or to assist you in calming your mind and relaxing. It has a calming effect on the nervous system, purifies the bloodstream and aerates the lungs, improves digestion and appetite, helps to overcome insomnia, soothes headaches and helps to free the mind of over thinking.

  1.  Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position, back straight or lie flat on your back.
  2. Raise your RIGHT hand and place your ring finger against your LEFT nostril, closing it off.
  3. Inhale deeply and slowly through the RIGHT nostril to the count of four.
  4. Close off the RIGHT nostril with your thumb and retain the breath for 1-4 seconds.
  5. Open the LEFT nostril and exhale to the count of 4-8 seconds. The longer you can make the exhalation, the better. Concentrate on completely emptying the lungs.
  6. Breathe in through that same LEFT nostril to the count of 4.

Cleansing Breath Technique

The cleaning breath is a quick and efficient technique to relax the nervous system when you are stressed or upset. It is helpful when used on a daily basis to strengthen the body organs. During the cleansing breath you are listening for a deep, strong, full exhalation that is coming from the base of your abdomen. It aids digestion, clears lungs, sinuses and nasal passages, purifies the bloodstream, clears the head, relieves colds, strengthens lungs, thorax and abdomen, stimulates liver, spleen and pancreas and tones the nervous system.

  1.  Inhale deeply, pushing the abdomen out, taking in as much air as possible in the space of 1 second.
  2. Tighten your abdomen in forcefully to expel the air through the nostrils.
  3. Inhale again by pushing the abdomen out and letting the air rush back into the lungs.
  4. The whole process, inhalation and exhalation, should take not much more than 1-1/2 seconds. Both should be forceful and will be quite audible.
  5. Do five to ten cleansing breaths a day