Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Better Breathing

I've been reading about breathing better. Yes, I know that we all know how to breathe, at least everyone reading does. We do it without thinking. The thing is, I want to do more abdominal breathing and also to breathe more deeply.

I have also been reading about the relaxation response. There are several exercises that one goes through to induce this response. Some are based on visualization. I really liked one that said to imagine going to the beach. Go slowly, step-by-step down some stairs, then down the beach, and finally, wade into the water. Feel the cool water around your legs, swirling. Enjoy that sensation a few minutes, feeling the warm sun on your face and on your back. When you are ready, imagine yourself going back up the sand, step-by-step, and then up the stairs, step-by-step. At the top, return to where you were.

Some are based on belly breathing. I actually own a CD by Dr. Andrew Weil on breathing. The thing is, I haven't yet felt I had the time to devote 30 or 40 quiet minutes to learning how to breathe better. It would have to be when both my husband and my son are asleep. Up until now, I have wanted to sleep when they sleep and haven't had one of those infrequently occurring nights of insomnia. It remains shrink-wrapped.

In one book I have, there is one set of breathing exercises you do lying on your back on the floor. You start out imagining that your body is a huge balloon that fills with air, starting from your toes and gradually filling all the way up to your neck. There is more, but you'd have to read the book. Next, the author wants you to practice breathing standing up. She gives you deep breathing pointers that are meant to be used for every stretch and exercise you do.

Later, when she is talking about exercises, she recommends that you do them in the nude. Now I know I won't be doing those breathing exercises in the nude. Why not? I'd be hooting and snorting with laughter so much, I couldn't breathe at all. I'd be turning blue and my eyes would be watering. Should be quite a workout, though!


Blogger HomeSchooling Ologist said...

You don’t need 30-40 minutes to start breathing better; all you need is a few seconds to start with. Just practice whenever you have a dull moment. A few times I take advantage of are; commercials, when the webpage is loading, sitting at a light or rush hour if I end up getting caught, while I take a shower and when I lay down to go to sleep. 30-40 minutes would be great but is very hard to come by! Don’t let lack of time stop you. You breath all day everyday one or two breaths is all you really need. :)

There is tons of information out there on breathing meditation. I use some simple breathing techniques to help my son when he is overwhelmed.

In the nude? That’s a first for me! lol

8:08 AM  
Blogger The Glasers said...

Does this person have children or dogs? I cannot imagine doing anything in the nude with my crew. I can barely sneak in a bath!

As a singer, I have learned to breathe deeply using the diaphragm. Some choir directors have had us do some really silly stuff to get the breathing on track. In fact, when I moved to Colorado (9,000 feet), I had no trouble adjusting the first day we were there. I suspect it was because my body went into automatic and breathed more deeply on its own.

You might find some information on exercises at websites devoted to singing.

4:26 AM  

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