When you are feeling tense and your mood is low, your breathing probably will be very shallow and constricted. Shallow breathing can invoke an emotional imbalance. Shallow breathing causes an inadequate supply of oxygen in the blood. This can be corrected by two methods.
1. Acupressure. Press the potent points to increase blood circulation. This is covered elsewhere.
2. Deep breathing, which increases the oxygen supply and enhances the benefits of acupressure. How to do this is the subject of this article. We will describe several examples that will take you step by step to better breathing and relaxation.
By deepening your breath and keeping the rhythm consistent, you increase the amount of oxygen that is reaching your lungs, blood, organs, and cells. This oxygen, of course, is vital for your physiological systems to operate properly. Deep breathing also relaxes your body and mind so that you can examine your negative thoughts and replace them with more positive ones.
Exercise 1: To become aware of your breathing pattern
The following exercise will enable you to become more aware of your own breathing pattern:
1. Lie on the floor in a corpse pose as described in yoga with your legs straight and slightly apart, your arms at your sides and not touching your body, palms up, and eyes closed.
2. Focus your attention on your breathing.
3. Place your hand on your body where it rises and falls. If this spot is on your chest, your breathing is too shallow and you're not fully using your lungs.
4. Place your hands on your abdomen and feel how it rises and falls. Does your chest move with your abdomen? If not, focus on allowing them to rise and fall together.
5. Concentrate on breathing deeply through your nose, filling your entire lungs so that your chest and abdomen rise and fall with each breath.
6. As you breathe, check your body for tension. If you discover any part of your body under tension, concentrate on those tight or rigid muscles and let the tension flow away.
By practicing this exercise, you will become more aware of your breathing patterns and habits. Once you feel acquainted and in touch with your breathing, do exercise 2 below to learn to deepen your breathing.
Exercise 2: To deepen your breathing
1. Lie down on the floor with your knees bent and feet apart. Your back should be flat on the floor.
2. Mentally examine each part of your body. Is there any tension in any part of your body? If yes, let it flow away.
3. Rest one hand on your stomach and the other hand on your chest.
4. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose, taking the breath into your stomach so that your hand feels it rise. Your chest should move slightly along with your abdomen.
5. Practice step 4 until it feels comfortable to be breathing air into your abdomen. Once you achieve this comfort, inhale deeply and then blow the air out gently through your mouth.
6. Deep-breathe for five to ten minutes once or twice each day.
After you have become comfortable with this technique, you can practice the exercise for up to twenty minutes at a time, whenever you feel the need to relax and focus your energy.
Exercise 3 A simple exercise to combat depression
A simple, effective technique for combating mild depression is to increase the depth of your breathing. Close your eyes and focus your full attention on breathing deeply. This relaxes your body and will open your mind to experience positive thoughts and creative images. If you increase the depth of your breath so that you are taking no more than four breaths a minute, within five minutes this exercise will change the way you feel. Try it.
Exercise 4: Exercise to let go of your depression and feel energized.
This exercise lets you to get rid of your depression and feel energized.
1. Sit on a chair with your back straight and feet flat on the floor.
2. Reach straight up with both hands.
3. Inhale deeply. Hold your breath and while holding your breath, squeeze your fists so that the muscles in your arms tighten.
4. Exhale slowly. Keeping your arms tense, lower your fists to your chest, as if you're pulling down on rubber bands.
5. Repeat steps 2 and 3 a few times.
6. On the final repetition, cross your arms over your chest. Rest your fingers on the upper outside spots of your chest, with your wrists crossed in the middle.
7. Drop your chin to your chest.
8. Inhale four short breaths without exhaling.
9. Hold your breath.
10. Exhale slowly through your mouth.
Repeat steps 8-10 for a few minutes, concentrating on the rhythm of your breath.
See Also: Pranayama - Breathing Exercises of Yoga
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