Monday, February 25, 2008

BREATHE


Knowledge is power, but it is also a pain in the butt sometimes. The more I learn about health, ego, spirituality, nutrition, the environment, and the list goes on, the more I am aware of the thoughts and actions working against these things (or resisting them). There was a time that I would have thrown up my hands and given up after making a mistake, but I've learned to be more gentle with myself. Now, I breathe. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but incorporating deep abdominal breathing and anuloma viloma (alternate nostril breathing-which by the way is also great for quiting smoking) are priceless tools that can be used anytime, anywhere.

First of all, let you belly relax. For the first twenty-four years of my life, I took shallow, short breaths and held in my stomach. This breathing pattern effects your entire body and mind. Shoulders tense, heart races, chest is tight, hands clenched, and again the list goes on. This chain reaction will reverse if you relax your belly and breathe deeply into your abdomen. I usually count "om one, om two, on three" (as I inhale) and then "om one, om two, on three" (as I exhale). In the morning, try taking ten deep breaths like this before your feet touch the floor:)

Anuloma Viloma (alternate nostril breathing) takes a little more practice, but I can say that it has changed my life. The directions in this article are fantastic. Even though other drivers probably think I'm cuckoo, I sometimes do this exercise in the car. This breathing exercise is helpful when you feel overwhelmed, anxious, confused, worried, or stressed. If I need to relax or find clarity, the simple exercise of conscious breathing helps me get there. I hope it helps you too!

2 comments:

Allie said...

I just read an article about "e-mail breathing" and how people hold their breath when they work on the computer, and it puts them in a panic/fight or flight state. I noticed that I do it.

I'll have to bookmark your post and come back to it when I find myself holding my breath.

Sundari said...

I would love to read that article if you still have the link! I hope you'll try out some breathing exercises. Let me know how it goes:)