Learning to Breathe
Learning to breathe for meditation and health
has proved to be a "practicing" step with a
few people. I know it took me awhile to get
the hang of it. But once learned, easy as pie!
Breathing correctly, especially during
meditation is not only helpful
to attain the relaxation but is
one heck of a healthy one too!
Meditation is the process of allowing
the flow of positive reception and
contemplation within oneself and
arriving at a higher aspect of self.
The act of meditation will allow a
positive energizing experience, help
in understanding yourself, and possibly
just "save your sanity".
The method for using concentration and
visualization to "go deeper" first
involves learning to breathe.This is
not intended as an "authoritative
work", as I am not a qualified Physician
and this is intended only as a reference
in showing the techniques only.
Breathing allows for us to be consciously
aware.When we are aware, we sense/feel/hear
through our bodies. When we stop, our
bodies tense, senses are dulled but the
mind goes nuts. All alerts are on and
the activity is now centered solely on
the basic act of feeding the brain.
Most people however, walk around in just
that state. Apart and separate without
even knowing why, just sensing "something"
lacking. Breathing consciously allows
us to "attune" to the senses in a
most clarifying, healthful and
This is just one of the many breathing
techniques out there. It employs the
use of "full-body" breathing.
To begin practicing, the first few
times you practice anyway, wear loose
clothing, make sure your nostrils
are clear, if you have a cold, or
allergies, or a sore throat even,
wait until it's cleared before you
begin. You will need to use your nose
and a clear throat in this exercise.
And please, don't get discouraged. It
took me a while to get it down pat,
feeling a bit clumsy, after all, it's
only breathing for gosh sakes!
To begin, lie on your back on a flat
surface. Spine against the floor.
Place your hand palm-side down on your
abdomen, right below your navel. Place
your other hand on your chest, right
above the sternum. Now we can begin
to regulate the breathing between
the abdomen and the chest.
To distinguish, the abdomen hand rises
and the chest hand stays still.
Practice using only the abdomen to
breathe for a couple of minutes. If
you need help, sometimes a small weight
(a small bag of sugar, flour, sand or
even a small paperweight works in a pinch!).
Take deep breaths through your nostrils
and push your abdomen hand (and the
flour bag) up as you fill.
As you exhale, draw your abdomen back
towards your spine. Practice just this
for a few minutes more.
Now, try it with the chest hand.
Breathe in through your nose allowing
only the chest hand to rise and fall,
the abdomen staying still. You can
leave the weight on if its easier to
keep it still. Practice this method
only for the next few minutes. Please
make sure you are breathing in a steady
and "normal" manner. Do not rush it.
If you start to feel a little lightheaded,
stop, you are rushing it. If you are out
of breath, stop, you are breathing
Now try to alternate the breathing,
first the abdomen only, then the chest
only. Practice for a few more minutes
until you feel comfortable doing it in
a steady pace. If you are having any
trouble with this, stop and try again
at some later time. It's not always
as easy as it sounds. Try even taking
a week or two just practicing this.
You will need to learn the difference
in both methods before progressing.
Now try both methods in an inhale/exhale
breath. Start with your abdomen through
your nose keeping your chest still.
When you feel full, switch to the chest
area and draw in as much more as you can.
On exhaling use the chest first, keeping
the abdomen still, and then switching to
same until you are totally expelled.
Practice this for a few more times,
at least three minutes.
Now stand up and stretch the spine.
Still using the the steps above,
imagine pulling energy through your
feet to a spot just above the crown
of your head as you inhale. Allow
the raising your shoulders. Feel it
moving up all the way to the top.
As you exhale, imagine that energy above
you raining down and washing through
your body, along the spine and down
and out through your feet. Relax your
shoulders, become aware of the sensations
coursing through and energizing you.
This exercise, with practice, will
enhance your intuition, relax your
mind and body, heighten your senses
and improve memory and creativity!
Amazing huh? Just by breathing!
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