Saturday, October 15, 2011

Just Breathe

Heal and Relax 

 Master Yogi, Rodney Yee, on the power of the present moment, 
which is only a breath away.

Through The Power of Breath

I remember reading an interview with natural wellness guru, Dr. Andrew Weil, MD.  When asked what his one tip for better health was, his reply was "proper breathing."  At the time I had just recently discovered yoga and the amazing healing power of breath.  I was not surprised at all to hear that breathing properly was Dr. Weil's one single, and simple trick. In fact, by that point I had learned that it was possible to retrain the body to breathe properly through the practices of Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Ayurveda and other moving meditations.

If Yoga or Tai Chi seem like a bit much to try and fit into your day (though I do recommend figuring out a way), scale it down to the basics and just breathe. Honestly, this is the one thing I do repeatedly throughout the day with amazing results.

Have you ever watched a baby breathe? Unlike the shallow breathing most of us do as a result of our stress filled lives, babies take deep breaths into their bellies. Their bellies rise on the inhale and fall on the exhale. The real culprit to the change in our breathing is that men and women are both taught to suck in their bellies to appear slimmer, or more powerful. Combined with the afformentioned life stress and negative habits like smoking, over time we train our lungs to only use about twenty percent of their capacity.

Taking a few deep breaths into the belly while in the midst of a chaotic or stressful situation will instantly calm and center your mind. But what I find most beneficial is to take these deep belly breaths throughout the day, which helps to sustain a clear mind by building resiliency to negative thoughts. You're able to set adverse possibilities aside and think more clearly in the moment about any fiascoes that may arise.

Think about it. Breathing is completely free, it's something you do everyday anyway. So, why not take advantage of those thirty seconds at your next traffic light and take a few deep belly breaths. You will feel the positive effects instantly.

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