Breathing for Optimal Health

There is more to breathing than you may think. To live, everything must breathe. The Earth breathes, rocks breathe, plants breathe, and all the birds, insects, animals, and other forms of life on Earth and in the seas breathe. If they did not, life could not go on. Life would die.

Contained in the air is a great power, a power that gives life to all things. The power in the air is something that cannot really be defined but we would conclude that it must be all truth, intelligence, wisdom, and understanding. It is the source of all life.

A baby takes its first breath of life and from that moment on, the child is independent of the mother as a living, independent being. The breath brought life and the cessation of breath will bring the end of life. The first breath brings the life force into the body and instils purpose within all living things. The breath links the invisible positive, intelligent power to the visible physical body and thus starts the living process.

Our bodies are small universes within themselves, the centre of which is called the solar plexus. It is what we call the Sun centre because all the organs and other parts of the body depend upon the Sun centre for the strength and power it gives out. In the same way all the planets of the universe could not exist without the life power of the solar Sun. Proper breathing develops the Sun centre or solar plexus to build a strong physical body and because it is such a strong energy, it can generate great strength for the brain cells and the mind.

In developing breathing it is necessary to be aware of the power of thought and to know the difference between positive and negative thoughts. For example, if you are in a mood and you begin to practise deep, rhythmic breathing, you will add power to the moody thoughts and thus make it difficult to overcome the moody thoughts. This is why it is important to balance your name to one that is in harmony with your purpose so that difficult emotional feelings can be controlled easily and you are able to maintain a happy perspective of life despite life's challenges.

In practising the deeper breathing exercises, it is important to think of something beautiful and mentally elevating such as a picturesque scene of nature but not to think of things that stimulate the emotions because it is important to be relaxed and peaceful. As one draws in a deep breath through the nose focusing on the back of the throat, filling the lower, mid, and upper part of the lungs, one could think about the strength and power of the intelligence of the universe and try to be aware of the love and joy of life, the beauty of life, and the harmony that we want to create in our lives. As we expel the breath through the nose slowly with great relaxation, we strive to lift our minds up to the bigness of the Reason for being and how we can apply greater universal thinking in our lives to create the happiness in home life and the success we are seeking. Uniting the breath with happy thoughts helps to develop calmness and peace.

Practise these simple exercises:

1. Sit on a chair with both feet flat on the floor, hands on the knees, with head, neck, and spine straight. The fingers should be well apart. In this position, let yourself go; i.e., relax completely all over, without a single muscle in tension in the entire body. Keep the thought of peace in your mind; push away any other thoughts that will tend to disrupt your relaxation time. Five to fifteen minutes of this relaxation will bring unexpected results in the process of recharging a devitalized body. Do not fall asleep. If you can, practise relaxation two or three times a day. It will keep you from being irritable or angry.

2. Spend some time each day practising deep rhythmic breathing. Sit upright in a comfortable chair and will your body to relax. Put aside the day's activities and focus on a nature scene, for example, or anything that does not disturb the emotions. Inhale the breath gently through the nose focusing on the breath going to the back of the throat and feel it filling the lower part of the lungs as it pushes the diaphragm outward and downward. Then fill the middle part of the lungs pushing out the lower ribs, breastbone, and chest. Then fill the upper portion of the lungs forcing the upper chest outward and lifting the whole chest while completely expanding the ribs. While you retain the breath, make sure the muscles at the base of the neck and shoulders are relaxed. Make your shoulders droop so that you do not create tension. Then gently exhale the breath. As a suggestion, inhale the breath to the count of six, hold for the count of three or six, and exhale to the count of six. Start with five minutes a day and increase the time as you are able to keep your mind and body relaxed.

You may find yourself feeling a little dizzy as your body adjusts to the greater oxygenation of the blood. If you put forth effort to practise breathing, you will experience greater energy and vitality.

The third study program, Healthy Living, introduces various breathing exercises that are beneficial for daily living to strengthen the body and mind.

Thought for the Day