“I feel like breathing is pretty important for life…”
Said with a grin from Dr. Joseph Martin during his “I AM Kundalini Kriya Yoga” training that I attended last night.
What an experience. The night began with Dr. Joseph explaining the importance of breathe, and the fact that very few people have ever been TAUGHT how to breathe properly. Learning to breathe properly, what a concept.
What I learned and would like to share with you all, is that most people are only utilizing a portion of their lung’s capacity during regular breathing because they have never learned and practiced how to take a deeper breathe. By only using a portion of their lungs, they are consequently only taking in a portion of the Oxygen that they could be!
However, just like riding a bike, there needs to be a few basics to learn before you can become a really good rider, and it would appear that proper breathing is NO DIFFERENT!!!
Do a self assessment. Take a regular breathe right now while reading this Weblog. Where do you feel the air come into your body?
Do you feel it pass through the throat and into the lungs? Do you notice your chest rising on inspiration? Do you notice your abdomen or belly increasing in size during a deep breathe? Do you know which is more favorable?
What we want to have occur is to utilize the entire capacity of the lungs. We want to appreciate that the air will always be coming in from the nose or mouth and down the airway (trachea) and into the lungs. The upper most portion of the lungs will generally fill easily. Take a couple of short quick breathes and notice that the chest moves and slightly expands.
Now consider this…
On your next inhale, RELEASE your abdominal muscles and let your stomach drop. Don’t worry about what people around you are thinking, STOP SUCKING IN THAT STOMACH during the inhale. Take a deep breathe in from the nose and allow that fresh air to travel past the chest and down into the lower parts of the lungs. To make room for the lower lungs to expand, we need to allow other organs such as the intestines and stomach room to also lower and push downwards. When we take a deep breathe and see the stomach expand, we’re not actually taking air into the stomach but rather we are pushing down on the stomach with the expansion of the lungs and the diaphragm muscles.
To check to see if you are getting that deep breathe, place your hand lightly on your stomach you should see it move a few inches outwards on a deep breathe. It will tend to expand similar to a balloon! Let that balloon fill up!
Now how about the exhale? This is where your abdominal muscles come in. Dr. Joseph talks about attempting to “pull your abdominal muscles inward towards the spine”. Feel that contraction and force the air out of your lungs by pushing with the abdominal muscles. A few repetitions of this style of breathing and you’ll likely begin to feel it in those abdominal muscles. That’s ok.
What a benefit to the body to be getting more Oxygen into the blood. Distributing more Oxygen to all the cells of the body including the brain. A few of the common side effects of increased Oxygen:
-Present time awareness
Now that’s what I’m talking about! Practice, practice, practice. Don’t forget about how many times you had to get back on that bicycle before you were able to really master the skill of riding. Working on these breathing exercises are no different, luckily for you, you’ll get plenty of additional opportunities for practice, pretty much right away!
UC Life Team