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
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.