Take a deep breath…exhale slowly


My Lake Chabot hike photo by Dafina Kuficha

These days are filled with fascinating natural occurrences. Arizona has experienced its second major dust storm in a month. Over 241 tornados touched down in Alabama and the midwest, leaving uncountable and in some cases, insurmountable, damages, including loss of life and property. The news is not reassuring but actually serves to keep fear at the forefront of our lives. Stress plays an all too major role in our everyday lives and many of us need a way to handle it effectively. Well, here’s a 10-20 breathing exercise that may not be able to prevent high blood pressure but it can keep it from rising. Sometimes we just need an easy way to handle our stress and the right type of breathing can be the answer. Your breath can be of great aid to your process or it can hinder your process by keeping you feeling fearful and inflexible. Remember, deep breathing is essential to good health.

Acupuncture also aids you in deepening your breathing practice as it aids the respiratory system in improving its function. Choose to have vibrant  health by taking time to deepen your breathing with the Hara Breathing Exercise Technique and open yourself to practices that improve your health.

HARA BREATHING EXERCISE TECHNIQUE

Hara breathing is done to relieve the body, mind, and spirit of all types of stress.  If you feel weak or overwhelmed, scared or angry, breathing into the hara will ease these feelings.  Breathing into the hara region allows you to contact your reservoir of energy, and then helps you to root it.

Find a place of quiet, peacefulness.  Make sure the clothes you are wearing are loose fitting, especially around your waist.  You may lie down, sit down or stand up to perform this breathing technique.  It may feel more comfortable to either lie down with your knees slightly bent (to take pressure off your lower back), or to sit in the lotus (crossed-legged) position. (Careful of too placing much pressure on sore knees)  Begin with natural breathing, allowing your body, especially your jaws, neck and shoulders, to relax.

Begin by taking three deep, cleansing breaths, inhaling slowly through your nostrils, while expanding your abdomen, and finish by exhaling slowly through your mouth.

Now, inhale slowly through your nostrils to the count of five (“one thousand one” and so on).  Place your tongue at the roof of your mouth.  Feel your inhalation all the way down to your hara, the region located about one inch below your navel.  As you inhale to the count of five, your abdomen should be expanding as your diaphragm is moving downward.  Hold the breath for another five counts.  Exhale by removing your tongue from the roof of your mouth keeping your mouth slightly open.  To the count of five, slowly, quietly exhale like a cool breeze.  If a feather were placed in front of your mouth during the exhalation, it would not be moved, so quiet and calm is the exhaling breath.  Continue this exercise without pause between inhalation and exhalation.  As you become more adept with this breathing exercise, you may wish to hold the breath longer.  Increase the count gradually as you are ready for it.

Practice hara breathing daily for at least ten to twenty minutes in the mornings and evenings. You will immediately notice improvement in your inner feelings and in your overall physical health. Feel free to use this breathing technique when you are facing challenges in your life’s daily activities.  You can do the exercise for a few moments  or for ten to twenty minutes, once a day or twice a day or throughout the day. At the end you’ll feel much calmer and refreshed.  Your choices, options, possibilities and opportunities become clearer when you are calmer. Enjoy deeper breathing and better health.   Ashay!

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