26 Jan Relax and Take A Deep Breath
“Relax and Take a Deep” … How many times have you said this, or had somebody say this to you?
Many cultures and health practices have cultivated the art of deep breathing, recognizing it’s universal importance for our mind and body health. Taking a deep breath is both energizing and relaxing. It increases our blood flow, sending oxygen to our cells and rids our bodies of waste materials like Carbon Dioxide. Effective breathing stimulates our organs and our spine, and it releases endorphins helping to reduce pain in the body. It can also calm our nervous system inducing the relaxation response.
So why aren”t we all relaxed all the time?
Aren’t we always breathing?
It’s HOW we breathe that creates the difference, most of us aren’t breathing deeply enough, our breaths are
shallow, and only reaching into our chest not our diaphragm.
“Rapid, shallow breathing sends a message to our adrenal glands that we’re in fight-or-flight mode, and they begin
pumping out stress hormones like cortisol,” explains Brenda Stockdale,director of mind-body medicine at the RC Cancer Centers in Atlanta. And when the body is stressed, it’s weakened. (http://www.oprah.com/spirit/
How do we train ourselves to breathe deeply into our diaphragm again?
It will take some practice, and the health benefits you’ll receive will be well worth it. Set aside atleast 5 to15 min each day to retrain yourself to breathe effectively.
Try this exercise: *Balloon Belly Breath*
Sit or lie down, make sure you’re comfortable and can relax your body
Choose your favorite aroma (peppermint and eucalyptus are great lung openers) or Aveda’s Blue oil put a few drops in your hands, rub them together, and hold them in front of your face breathing in the aroma. Then relax your hands in your lap and breathe naturally for a few moments.
Exhale completely, emptying out your lungs
Now imagine there is a balloon in your low belly, just below your navel. Begin inhaling slowly, through your nose, filling up your balloon, first in the belly, then the solar plexus region, and finally into the chest.
Pause for a moment with your balloon full.
Then begin to slowly exhale through your nose, deflating the balloon, from the chest to the belly.
Pause for a moment with your balloon empty.
And repeat. Keeping your breath slow and even on both the inhales and exhales.
You can do this at any time of day, make sure it is at a time where you can focus solely on your breath. Deep breathing is natural for us, we all did it as babies. Taking the time to practice a few minutes each day will remind our bodies to do it throughout our entire day, and most importantly, it will bring us back to what is here and now.