Breathing Exercise

Here are our free exercises & techniques. The first breathing exercise is excellent for general health, relaxation, or to lower blood pressure. Also in this section of our website there are techniques to help with relaxation and weight loss.

They work because, along with sleeping well, they enable you to manage stress better. If you fail to manage stress well, your body will increase your level of the hormone cortisol, which promotes dangerous, ugly abdominal fat.

You can also try music therapy to lower your cortisol level. Sit still in a comfortable chair for 15 minutes and listen carefully to slow tempo, instrumental music.



Really focus on the music: try to visualize someone playing the instrument(s). When you notice extraneous thoughts, immediately refocus on the music.

In these sections of our website there are meditation breathing techniques for serenity, tranquility and peacefulness that, when done properly, are even better than music therapy for lowering your cortisol level.

Breathing is not just necessary for life; it is critical for the quality of life.

Whether you meditate or not, there are breathing techniques that can quickly improve the quality of your life.

Moreover, whether your use the technique for relaxation or as an aid to weight loss, you will be breathing for health!



Breathing and meditation


Breathing exercises and meditation work well together.

Meditation shouldn't be confused with religion. It is a spiritual or breathing practice. It is neither religious nor anti-religious; it's nonreligious. It works from the inside out. It supports the person on all levels. It produces greatly improved health and precious peace of mind. If you do not meditate daily, we encourage you to start.

It is impossible to live as peacefully as possible without using meditation or some equivalent spiritual practice.

What improved breathing might do for you

Health is a balanced, resilient wholeness. Being unbalanced is being unhealthy. Improving breathing improves balance and health on all levels because it treats the whole person.

Notice that breathing is the only bodily function that can be performed consciously or unconsciously. The reason for that is that it is controlled by both the nerves of the voluntary nervous system and the nerves of the involuntary (autonomic) nervous system.

It's like a bridge between these two systems. It's the critical connection between mind and body.

sidebar quotation from Andrew Weil, M.D.: "Breath is the master key to health and wellness, a function we can learn to regulate and develop in order to improve our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being."


The first breathing technique is an example that Andrew Weil promotes in more than one of his books, including Natural Health, Natural Medicine (which, even though he doesn't fully appreciate the importance of strength training for health and wellness, we recommend as a valuable, sensible book).

It is an excellent for relaxation, stress relief, or to lower blood pressure. (Then we go on to look at meditation breathing techniques as an aid to health and weight loss.)

According to Dr. Weil, much illness comes from the "unbalanced functioning of the autonomic nervous system." The strong drugs that medical doctors (allopathic medicine) use may or may not correct such imbalances.

A natural alternative is to work with the breath to improve many "involuntary" functions, as yoga adepts from India are often able to do.

In other words, improving your breathing (like regular aerobic exercises) will improve your general health. In addition, breathing exercises done daily are an excellent tonic as well as an aid to natural weight loss.

Noticing our breathing is paying attention to what we are doing. Instead of living mindlessly, in other words, without paying attention to what we are doing, whenever we do it we are focusing on what is real right here and right now.

The more we do that, the more mindfully we are living.

There is no better habit than paying attention to the present moment.

Therefore, as simple as it is, we encourage you to develop it.

Your first exercise

This one is called "Relaxing Breath"

This exercise may be done sitting, lying, or standing. If you are seated, it's best to keep your back straight (by pushing your belly forward). It should be done at least twice a day, but please do it whenever you feel agitated, annoyed, angry, nervous, or otherwise upset.

It's a good practice to use this breathing technique whenever you are lying down just before sleeping. If you happen to wake in the middle of the night, doing it will help you get back to sleep more quickly if you are in the habit of doing it at least twice daily.

1. Place the tip of your tongue on the alveolar ridge just above the inner surface of your upper front teeth and keep it there for the duration of this exercise.

2. With your lips and teeth open, exhale completely making an audible "whoosh" sound.

3. Close your mouth. Inhale through your nose for a silent count of four.

4. Hold the breath for a silent count of seven.

5. Open your mouth and exhale audibly for a silent count of eight.

6. Repeat the cycle four times and resume breathing normally.

The more you use this breathing technique, the greater its benefits, which are cumulative. It's a terrific tonic. You can give it to yourself whenever you want. If you work with it conscientiously, you'll be glad that you did. Breathing for relaxation is just one of the many benefits.

Meditation and breathing

There are many free breathing exercises and meditation techniques available. However, you now have an excellent one for everyday use.

If you begin regularly to use this one, you'll soon find out how beneficial it is. That may lead you to want more. Then you may wish to advance to meditation techniques.

You may not realize that in using this first breathing exercise you are already meditating! Meditation is as simple as focusing on your breathing.

A meditation is just an aid to enable the meditator to transition from thought to no-thought (pure awareness). It liberates the practitioner from addiction to compulsive thinking.

Meditation works because thinking takes us away from the present moment and separation from the present moment always creates unease. Meditation replaces the distressing noise of thinking with the peaceful silence that is underneath thinking.

Meditation breathing techniques may be done anywhere at any time. In fact, master meditators are always meditating! For more free breathing exercises and free meditation breathing techniques, go to the first page of the meditation section.



sidebar quotation from Tielhard de Chardin: "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience."



Our web pages related to this topic

This completes the first breathing exercise for health, relaxation, or weight loss.

In this the psychology section of our website we have the following pages:

  • 1. Psychology for Weight Loss (main page)
  • 2. Emotional Eating: How to Cure It
  • 3. Meditation for Weight Loss and Tranquility
  • 4. Meditation Techniques
  • 5. Releasing a Psychological Trap
  • 6. How to Build Self-Esteem
  • 7. Overcoming Obstacles to Weight Loss
  • 8. Breathing Exercises (this page)
  • 9. Visualization for Weight Loss
  • 10. Behavioral Weight Loss (this page)
  • 11. Commitment and Weight Loss
  • 12. Goal Setting for Weight Loss
  • 13. Learning for Weight Loss
  • 14. Positive Attitude and Achievement
  • 15. Stress Making You Fat
  • 16. How to Sleep Better

You will find the direct links to those pages on our site map/index.

Meanwhile, here are two of those links:

Meditation

Sleep Better



Our recommended book list for this topic

If you enjoyed this page and you would like some in-depth additional reading, see the spiritual well-being section of our best self-help books page. You will find the best self-help books page listed on the navigation buttons.

Meanwhile, here are our initial recommendations:

  • Glenn Wallis, ed., Basic Teachings of the Buddha
  • Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now
  • Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
  • Philip Kapleau, The Three Pillars of Zen
  • Andrew Weil, Natural Health, Natural Medicine



If you are now looking for more, you can search our website or the World Wide Web.

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