A Mini Body Vacation

breathe by abchick
breathe, a photo by abchick on Flickr.

Whatever task you are doing right now, stop if you can. Put your hands on your belly at the belly button or just below it. Take a moment to check if you feel equally balanced between the left side of your body and the right. Take in a slow breath through your nose for a 4 count. Breathe that breath all the way down to your hands while your belly expands to hold that breath. When you complete your inhale your belly should be rounded out like a basketball. When you exhale to a 4 or 5 count, release the breath through your nose (or your mouth if you really need to release) while the basketball deflates.
Repeat as many times as you like as long as you don’t become dizzy for an excellent mini body vacation!

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Breathe!

breathe by Hopelessly.Hopeful
breathe, a photo by Hopelessly.Hopeful on Flickr.
Remember the earlier post when we talked about the kinds of gas that make the car of you go? One type of gas is breathing. As everyone knows- breathing is very important. Lately, we’ve been doing the following directed breathing exercise in yoga. I can tell the difference it makes in me and thought that you would appreciate it too. Thanks to my teacher Donna Rixmann of YogaPeace.net  for her wisdom.

Inhale

Hold

Exhale

Hold

# Of Reps

6

0

6

0

4

6

1

6

0

4

6

2

6

0

4

6

3

6

0

4

6

2

6

0

4

6

1

6

0

4

6

0

6

0

4

Translating line one means: breathe in for a count of 6, don’t hold the in-breath, breathe out for an equal amount of time for a count of 6, don’t hold the out-breath, inhale again to start round 2 of 4 rounds.
Continue to line two: inhale for a count of 6, hold the in-breath for a count of 1, exhale for a count of 6, no hold on the out-breath starting the second round of 4 by inhaling again.
And so on.
As always, exercise caution- do only what is good for you and as Donna says, “leave the rest”.
Any questions? Call the office!

Breathing Well

lungs by ashrampep
lungs, a photo by ashrampep on Flickr.

It’s been said before but it’s definitely worth another mention: breathing is one of only three ways the body gets the “gas” it needs to go (according to traditional Chinese medicine) so it’s worth doing properly. You might be thinking, but breathing is automatic! That’s partially true but even so,  I see at least 1 person every week who isn’t breathing properly either due to stress or habit. How you breathe has significant and possibly long-term impact on your health.
Do you ever take a moment to check in with how you are breathing? In times of stress or fear it’s easy to breathe in a shallow fashion only utilizing the upper portions of both lungs. There is a simple way to check  if you are breathing correctly. Lie flat in a comfortable position. Put one hand on your chest and one hand just below your belly button. Take a few breaths noting which of your hands rises first. If you are breathing well your belly hand should rise first followed by your chest hand. When breathing in, imagine your breath heading for your abdomen. You should be creating a basketball in your abdomen on the in-breath and a flatter abdomen on the out-breath.
It may seem awkward at first, especially if you have been breathing in a different way, but a little persistence beats resistance!
Great work!