Effective Breathing

by Amyobala Key

Angel Relaxing   

You can breathe effectively whether you are lying down or out for a walk. Most people will practise their breathing technique at home in a prone position. The trick is to transfer the procedure to the streets and carry it with you, like a good friend who is there beside you when you are most in need, especially in the face of unexpected shock or stress.

Think of your breathing not as you doing something but as a companion who can give you support. Since we deep breathe while asleep, first conduct your training lying flat, preferably on a hard flat surface or mat, not on a comfortable bed.

If you don't already breathe from your abdomen which fills the lower part of your lungs first, then it is time to change your habit. By holding in your stomach, you have been fooling people into thinking you are thinner than you really are, but at the same time you have subjected all the cells of your body to shallow breathing, making you more stressed and less oxygenated. In pretending to be what you are not, you have cheated yourself of a quantity of life force. Start breathing from the belly.

Relax your lungs and let your abdomen do the work. The air enters and fills first the lower lungs, then the middle, then the upper. As you exhale, the reverse is enacted, as you empty the upper lungs, the middle, and the lower, with the last ounce of converted gases being expelled as you contract your abdomen. In the beginning, having to think about it, this appears to be hard work.

Now that you have that process corrected, it needs to be revised. Make certain that you are inhaling with your mouth closed, slowly and calmly. You have adopted a meditative mood. In the beginning, avoid distractions like radio, television, or ipod. When it becomes a habit, you can incorporate your favorite music or self-improvement tape. How you expel the air is optional. For some, it is more comfortable through the lips, for others through the nostrils, so that you don't feel so much like a fish.

When you have become comfortable with the process while lying on your back, you will find it a great relaxer, and ultimately your body will fall asleep faster and descend to a deeper state. You should also practise the same technique when you are out for a walk or sitting in a doctor's office or other waiting area where you might otherwise experience nervousness. Give your body a gift of oxygen while at the same time maximizing the removal of gaseous waste products. You are now in the company of a new companion. It is your own calm and disciplined breathing.

If you are a smoker, we suggest you read the section on how to quit smoking as the breathing and the quitting go hand-in-hand. As a smoker you probably suck up the gases, thinking you are somehow nourishing yourself. You know very well you are inhaling through your mouth solids that include cadmium and arsenic. Your body will not get better, it will only get worse over time. When you have come to grip with the concept that the habit can be broken, then it is time to enjoy a brand new smoke, the thrill of inhaling a maximum of oxygen through the filtering membranes of your nostrils and exhaling toxic waste materials. With every breath, you get better and purer, and calmer, and more thoughtful. Your whole life will transform. You will be a new you. All it takes is an improved discipline.

Breathing can be a true friend, maybe your own true friend. Like a sad-eyed dog or an affectionate horse, he may not say very much, but he is there for mutual support. Should you be serious about the technique, it is a good idea to join a yoga class, if only to learn and practise the breathing exercises in the company of others who are equally inspired. You can expand on these simple techniques by holding the breath after you inhale and exhaling fully and holding once again. These are harder to establish as habits, but can prove beneficial and can be incorporated into a meditation regimen.

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