It may save your life.
If you are one of most people now suffering with more stress than your body knows how to accommodate, you need to have some tools for coping. You name it, maybe holiday stress, maybe financial stress, maybe the health and welfare of yourself or someone close to you, etc.
Many of you followed up my yoga article by signing up for some classes or going back to a long lost yoga practice. Yeah!!!! Those of you who do yoga or Tai Chi know that breathing properly is the integration of body and mind for bringing your being into deep relaxation, restoration, and a sense of peacefulness inside. The asanas, or postures, will encourage the deeper breathe. But, nonetheless, you are the one who must be willing to let go of the stress in your muscles to achieve a more open breathe. If you practice yoga or Tai Chi or Feldenkreis, you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, again I will encourage you to try it.
You can practice deep breathing by itself as well. Here it is:
Sit or lay in a comfortable position with a straight spine and all muscles well supported.
Close your eyes.
Focus your attention on the inhalation of your breath. Allow it to be long and unobstructed.
Slowly exhale. Allow the exhalation to be long and complete.
When you are comfortable with that, allow the length of inhalation and exhalation to elongate. Be patient. Let your mind relax and stay with the moment.
Repeat for 1min, then 2, etc. You will find that a very short investment of time can make a big difference in your stress levels.
Remember to practice every day so it will become easier to call upon when you need it most.
As simple as this sounds, it can give you relief from the knots that we all tie ourselves in with worry and stress. Deep breathing can help you get free of your mind for a moment. Over time the moments can extend and you practice deep breathing more naturally in the course of your day.
I hope you will try some deep breathing and find a little more joy amidst the stress of our times. Let’s all take a deep breath together. Breathe.
Dr. Hart teaches a beginning and continuing Tai Chi Ch’uan Class in Burien, Thurs. evenings at 7. For more information, contact Dr. Hart.