– Thich Nhat Hanh
According to Dr. Andrew Weil if we can learn to deepen, slow, quiet and regulate the quality of our breath we can do just about anything from ending insomnia, improving digestion and circulation, boosting energy, eliminating anxiety and improving our overall health.
One technique taught by Dr. Weil is called “Stimulating Breath.” This is also known as “Bellows Breath” in Pranayama. Its purpose is to raise the energy of your nervous system and increase alertness.
Stimulating Breath/Bellows Breath “How to”:
Step 1: Get comfortable. Sit with your back supported and as straight as possible, your feet flat on the floor and your hands lying relaxed in your lap. You can keep your eyes open, closed or partially open – as you wish.
Step 2: Position your tongue. Lightly touch the tip of your tongue to the backs of your upper front teeth. Now slide your tongue a smidge, up to the ridge of tissue between the teeth and the pallet. Keep it there and close your mouth. In this exercise you will be breathing rapidly in and out of your nose.
Step 3: Breath in and out of your nose as quickly as possible. Do this for up to and not longer than 15 seconds. (Imagine you are trying to light a fire and are pumping a bellows, in and out, as quickly as possible.)
Step 4: STOP and notice and note how you feel …
Bellows Breathing is an aerobic workout! You will feel it in your chest, ribs and abdomen. You will also feel a glow of warmth and energy throughout your body. It is a great way to start your day and to revive yourself in the afternoon after lunch.
Caution: Do this exercise in a safe, seated and comfortable position. Some people, which could include you, will feel light headed, dizzy and faint.
My Recommendation: Breathing: The Master Key to Self Healing (The Self Healing Series) by Dr. Andrew Weil 2 CD Set features numerous healthy breathing techniques including: Follow Your Breath, Bellows Breathing, Active Imagination and much more. The CD is worth buying. This doc is an excellent coach who leads and participates in all the exercises. Also includes lecture parts that are fascinating.
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