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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Taking Steps To A Healthier, Happier Life


Photo credit: Dafina Kuficha

1)     Wake up with an Attitude of Gratitude ~ Let your first thoughts of the day connect you to your gifts. Before you even arise from your bed, give thanks! Forgive what needs forgiveness. “Do not let any grievance dim your light!” Create an inner smile, no matter what challenging situations are before you, and return to it throughout the day.

2)     Drink at least two glasses of water first thing upon rising and 6-9 more throughout each day, depending on your body’s needs. Water aids in release of toxins through the urine; is lost through breathing, moving your stools, and sweating. It also adds luster to your hair and skin. Dehydration can have dangerous affect on the body.

3)     Stretch like a cat as you are preparing for your day. Raise your arms up over your head and take your arms to the right side, then to the left side, then back to center. Prepare your body for the day.  Movement is crucial to a healthy body.  It also generates more energy, blood flow and flexibility.

4)     Eat a nutritious breakfast.  Breakfast is just that, breaking the fast created by sleeping. Our body relishes the nutrition breakfast provides and helps sustain vibrant energy throughout our day. Make good nutrition a habit throughout your day.

5)     Take extended breaks from tv, movies, computers, phones, from the need to be entertained. Write letters to some faraway friend who doesn’t use the internet, or mend those kitchen curtains. Enroll to take a class in an area of interest that you discover in the quiet time spent with self only. Get creative and remain creative!

6)     Clear the old, useless stuff out of your closet, drawers, cabinets, storage space, garage. Decide what you’d be better without and declutter. This activity can also include releasing relationships that do not support your wellbeing.

7)     Stop everything for a few minutes a day to honor silence. Some may choose to meditate or just be still. When doing so, relax your body completely and let your mind follow. Quiet, do nothing time may seem scary at first, but soon you’ll realize its value.

8)     Start an exercise routine. Make it reasonable. Set a goal. Maybe this is the time to take that dream movement class, like capoeira,  Walking, yoga, taichi, swimming, canoeing, horseback riding, hiking or ice skating are just a few of many examples. Continue reading

How Do I Enter the Silence


Though I may seem quiet, often my mind is not.

For thoughts stalk it like a jilted lover.

When I sit alone, my mind’s fullness sits with me,

demanding constant attention to its empty musings.

I want to turn it off, to let a Higher Mind lead my thoughts to a higher place

within the holy  chamber of Silence.

Silence’s golden quietness seeks me out, but how do I reach for it?

How in the loudness of my mind’s chatter, can I reach the peaceful Silence?

How can the Voice of The Sacred Oneness rise above all this inner noise with its incessant distractions?

They tell me, “Turn within. Be still and know.”

But, they never quite say how!

How can I quiet the chatter of my worries?

How do I turn off the tapes that play all day,

every day, the same ol’ break-me-down message?

How am to I connect with The Voice beyond the noise

played by my mind’s orchestra?

They say that I can hear the answers to my prayers in the still calmness

that is reached in the Silence.

How will I recognize the Voice of the Divine in the midst of my mind’s madness?

Will I ever even be spoken to?  And, when I hear a voice, how will I know that It Is the Divine Voice?

Is my chatter-filled mind even worthy of receiving these holy, precious messages?

 

Is this a whimsical venture, to quiet what has so long existed in noise?

Would not the Silence drive me into a state of utter panic?

They say in the Silence, there is no war or conflict,

only the “peace that passeth all understanding.” Continue reading

Achieving Immaculate Love through the Path of Silence


Achieving Healthy Relationships through Immaculate Love

How can we use the practice of Golden Silence to mend our relationship with our youth?

We conjoin with Immaculate Love through the Path of Silence. Our youth is where we start right now because they can no longer wait for us to “get it together”. We’ve already left them to suffer unmentionable fates by allowing a society seeped in dysfunction define how we would relate to our own children. Into a dysphoric sleep we fell, leaving our precious children to survive by their own devices that exposed them to living lives far too old for them to experience. Awakening ever so slowly, it seemed that we forgot, not only who we are, but who they are to us. Shocked by their standards, our disdain for their culture (i.e., style of clothing, music, language, behavior and violence) became the popular conversation. Yet, even with their population in cemeteries and industrial prison complexes soaring, their condition still hasn’t quite become urgent enough to rally a powerful, solidified national movement. Forgetting how to love ourselves, we forget how to love our children. When we know what Love truly is, not what it masquerades as, we will continuously avail ourselves to its Immaculate quality. This is what aligns us with the golden path of Silence, the fertile garden of truth that resides within us all, the home of the harmonic cosmic conscience.

Be certain: The eyes of our youth are upon us!

The crux of this article applies to all youth of all ages. When we communicate from a place of love to our youth, we are teaching them that they matter and that both they and their feelings have relevance, even if we don’t agree or understand what they are feeling. Whether they like it or not or whether we care to admit it or not, how we feel about our youth aids their growth or promotes their feelings of inadequacy and self-worthlessness. We adults demonstrate to youth daily, our own or young ones we pass in our communities, by the tone of our voice or by the look in our eyes, whether we have love for them or disdain.

When we smile at young people, especially those we hold in judgment, perhaps because their bodies may be covered with tattoos, wearing sagging pants, or behaving loudly and distastefully, we may be adding a glimmer of light to an otherwise very challenged life. We cannot pretend to know the story this child carries daily to school or to the streets. We don’t know if their parents have failed them with abuse or abandonment or if they’re rebelling because these are the years designated in their life cycle to rebel. A kind gesture could, however, save the life of a child/teenager/adult, whose greatest challenge at the time you smiled at them was feeling that they deserved love and could receive it. That smile may free them momentarily of a self-judgment that was tearing a seam in the fabric of their being. Are you aware that the third leading cause of death for a teen is suicide? Many of these young people’s cries for help go unheard.

Before we go on, let us make a clarification of terms, if you do have disdain for your child’s or a child’s behavior; please differentiate between behavior and identity. A child is NEVER bad, but a child may exhibit “bad” behavior. However, if a child hears that he/she is “bad” long enough, they begin to believe that and strive to achieve what is expected of them. You may be asking yourself if you have a challenged relationship with a child/teen how can you show love for someone for whom you have no respect? How can you show a youth love when you find their behavior unacceptable, even damaging to others? How can you touch the heart of a youth who feels closed and angry? I will  to illustrate an answer to this question in the following story. Continue reading