Practical Uses of Breathing

© Alfred J. Parker

When your mind is tired and you feel sleepy, inhale as much breath through your nose as your lung capacity will permit. Retain the breath until you count six and then exhale slowly. This will awaken the mental faculties and make you feel alert. Do this breathing at least three times in succession.

(Editor's note: Inhale the breath slowly through the nose concentrating on the oxygen being taken to the back of the throat. Push the abdomen forward as you breath in and push the ribs sideways while still breathing in. The abdomen will automatically go inwards slightly. Then, lift the chest and collarbone while still breathing in. Then relax the head and the shoulders. When exhaling, allow the collarbone, chest, and ribs to relax. The air will expel automatically. Then pull the abdomen in slightly to expel any remaining air. Relaxation of mind and body is the key to benefitting from deep breathing.)

If you wake up with a suggestion of sickness—headache, fever, chills—immediately do your deep rhythmic breathing until a sign of perspiration breaks out upon your forehead, and in a short time the sick symptom will disappear. If at any time you feel self-conscious, do the above-mentioned deep breathing and you will soon feel positivity and self-confidence returning. A constructive positive thought backed by positive breathing will vitalize and give power to the thought.

The first steps in breathing constitute the realization that breathing is the most vital function of all, that it is the positive function without which there could be no life. One must first increase one's lung capacity by taking fewer but longer breaths through the nose, and then rhythmically exhale through the nose. As the lungs open, the greater capacity will naturally call for its greater amount of breath and in due time it will be a natural action to breathe more deeply. When called upon to face vital issues, remember the strengthening influence of the long rhythmic breathing.

Thought for the Day