One part of living healthy is knowing how to breathe well. When we feel stressed anxious or even lethargic it can make our breathing shallow and labored. We limit the oxygen to the brain and short circuit our ability to handle stress. That’s why knowing how to breathe deeply is so important. Before we begin notice how you feel right now. What is your general mood or temperament; grumpy, sad, happy, stressed? Do you want to change your current feeling to one of being present and calm? Then let’s begin.
Sit tall right where you are, close your eyes and notice your breath. Is it shallow or deep? Do you feel it in your chest, back or belly? Are you breathing more through your nose or mouth? No judgments just notice. Now that you’ve recognized your normal breathing patterns I’m going to teach you how to breathe more deeply so you can access your vital life force and feel less stress. This breathing technique is called Durga Breath or 3 Part Breath.
Place your left hand on your belly below your navel. (It should be your left hand because it represents the feminine and nurturing oneself as you are about to do right now.) Now place your right hand on your chest. Inhale through your nose sooooo deeeeeply that your hand moves out, feel the breath expanding your belly; once you feel your belly expand take a little more air into your body hold it for a moment; now slowly exhale through your nose. On your next breath take the air into your belly and then let it expand out to your ribs. Feel the ribs expanding out like wings. When you are full of air slowly exhale through your nose. This may take a few rounds of breathing to really get familiar with breathing this deeply but when you’ve mastered it you are ready for the third part. Take breath into your belly feeling your left hand get pushed out as you did before then into your ribs and finally into your chest. You will feel your right hand rise with the breath. As you exhale your chest will relax your ribs will descend and your belly will come in. With your eyes closed repeat this at least 5-8 times. If you experience the desire to yawn honor that and let yourself yawn.
This Durga Breath is great because (1) more air is taken in to the lower lobes of the lungs which have a larger capacity than the upper lobes; (2) the diaphragm acts like a second heart. Its piston-like movements expand the base of the lungs, allowing them to draw in more venous blood- this increase in the venous circulation improves the general circulation; (3) the abdominal organs are massaged by the up and down movements of the diaphragm; and (4) low breathing has a beneficial effect on the solar plexus, a very important nerve center which educes relaxation.
Now how you are feeling? Did it change? How and in what ways? Remember breathing is free so use this deep breathing to manage stress and create more health. Practice Often.
Live Simply and Wisely,
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