DEEP BREATHING FOR HEALTH AND HARMONY
Reprinted with permission from the book MIND/BODY ATTUNEMENT
The more oxygen you can deliver to the cells of your body ... the healthier and more alive each of the cells become. This fact is so obvious that most people often overlook it.
As you master the techniques of mind/body attunement you will find that your entire body slows down ... just like it would when you are in periods of non-dreaming sleep. Your breathing can slow down to almost imperceptible levels ... in fact, you will find that the feeling of "attunement" increases as you breath slower and deeper.
When your body is existing with a minimum of energy being expended it is "in balance" with the universe. There are cases where Yogi's have slowed their breathing to such a slow level that they were able to fool doctors into believing they were dead. In a famous experiment a yogi was buried alive for 2 weeks with no ill effects what-so-ever.
There is nothing to fear however because your "body intelligence" will not allow you to stop breathing any more than it will allow your heart to stop beating. The only way you can mentally stop yourself from breathing is by consciously holding your breath ... and even this is only a temporary measure because you will end up "passing out" from lack of oxygen and your "body intelligence" will start you breathing again.
Remember that you never lose consciousness when you are "attuned" ... you are always alert and in control of yourself.
Deep Breathing For Fast Attunement
A widely used technique for coping with the stresses of daily life is the practice of deep breathing. Health experts have long advised of it's value but few of us take the time to try it.
Deep breathing is important because it energizes the body and mind ... but at the same time it has a tranquilizing effect which calms and relaxes.
When you breath deeply you add millions of extra oxygen carrying blood cells into your blood stream which enables your muscles, tendons, and joints to operate fully and perform better. Your skin becomes firmer and more resilient. Your hair becomes shiny and strong.
Your nervous system works better and your ability to make important decisions is improved because "deep breathing" stimulates the brain cells to increase creativity and the power to concentrate.
Broken bones, surgeries, physical and emotional wounds all heal faster when the blood is filled with oxygen during deep breathing exercises.
Deep breathing is also called "diaphragm breathing" and can even eliminate digestive problems due to the fact that the digestive tract is gently massaged.
The diaphragm is a muscle located just below the rib cage. When you push your stomach "out", while inhaling, you are creating a vacuum in your lungs that sucks air to the deepest regions.
Try the following exercise for a few minutes and see how relaxed and invigorated you feel afterwards.
Diaphragm Breathing Exercise
Find a quiet place and lie down on your back ... make sure that your spine is straight and that you are relaxed.
Place the small finger of your right hand on your naval and let the rest of your hand rest on your stomach and extend up towards your chest ... feel your stomach expand as you push it out with each inhale, and collapse as you exhale.
Now press your left thumb against your left nostril, closing it to prevent you from breathing with it.Take a slow, full, deep breath through your right nostril while counting to four.
Then, hold your breath and count to eight. As you count remove the thumb from your left nostril and press your first finger against your right nostril. When you reach a count of eight, exhale slowly through your left nostril to a count of four. This completes the cycle.
This type of breathing fills you with fresh oxygen and clears your lungs. It calms you down and makes you feel more energetic.
Now try this exercise for four "cycles" ... or until you get the "hang" of it. If you start to feel dizzy then cut down the number of cycles. Practice every morning when you wake-up and every evening just prior to sleep. Increase the cycles from four to six to eight as soon as you are able to.
Do this exercise whenever you are tense and anxious. Use it to break up your day and interrupt stresses and tensions so they will not become "chronic". A certain amount of stress is normal for you but uninterrupted stresses can lead to a host of health problems ... in fact, many researchers believe that stress accounts for over 90% of all the ailments that afflict mankind.
By concentrating on your breathing for a minimum of three minutes, you will trigger the "relaxation response" in your body which will lower your stress hormones.
Shallow breathing in normal every day life can cause anxiety and decrease your energy level.
BREATH COUNTING EXERCISE
After you understand what it means to "diaphragm breath" try the following exercise ... and make sure you diaphragm breath as you inhale. Start by making yourself comfortable ... sit or lie down making sure your spine is straight.
Count your exhalations up to the number "4" and then start over again ... the goal is to be as highly awake and as aware as possible (completely aware but doing just one thing at a time).
You will start by "breathing out" for four counts and then "breathing in" for four counts while saying (either out loud or to yourself), "1" and "2" and "3" and "4" and "1" and "2" and "3" and "4" ... do this at approximately one second intervals because your mind is accustomed to being alert and active at one second intervals and slowing down the pace can make you drowsy and put you in a state of sleep. You might put a ticking clock near you to keep a correct pace.
OK are you ready? Then lets begin, "1" and "2" and "3" and "4" and "1" and "2" and "3" and "4" ... continue the exercise for about five minutes or until you feel the time is right ... when you are ready come back to this book. Perform this exercise every morning when you wake up and every evening right before you fall asleep. This will ensure that you set the pace for a healthy day and a healthy night's sleep.
Discover the "secret" of champion athletes, dancers, and performers who use these methods and energize your body. Use the invisible source of oxygen to purify, stimulate, and build up your immunity system. It's the #1 thing you need to maintain life ... and it's simple and easy to do.