Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Breathing Exercise

We know that breathing is very important. Still we often don't have well in mind what one old aunt of mine often repeated. "It aint what you do, but the way how ya do it." She didn't usually talk that way. She may have been quoting some old song. The idea is that the way we breathe counts.

Just remembering to take a few deep breaths several times a day may do one a great deal of good.

There are a large number of more formal breathing exxerecises available to us. I think that it is as good idea to find and use a number of them and then to choose two or three of them to practice with some regularity.

Here's one I have called "Crane" for no very good reason that I can remember. If you are in cold country you might start this exercise by rubbing your hands together to warm them. Then continue by placing warmed palms on either side of the naval. Sounds like something I picked up east of Suez, doesn't it?

Exhale slowly and press hands lightly on the abdomen aiming to form a slight hollow. Gently force air out of lower lungs and bring abdomen in.

After exhaling 'completely,' begin to inhale, slowly extending the abdomen outward so that it extends like a balloon. Take two or three seconds to balloon the abdomen outward with downward pressure of the diaphragm.

Repeat 4 or 5 times,

Avoid chest breathing.

We know that the important parts of breathing are inhaling and exhaling. Attending consciously to our inhaling and our exhaling a few times a day may do us a world of good; perhaps as much good as more formal exercises. Still I do believe that formal breathing exercises may add greatly to our well-being.

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