Sunday, August 14, 2011

Benefits of Breathing Exercise

“99 ABC’s of Wellness” Article Credit: The original article 99 ABC’s of Wellness is by Mylene Mendoza-Dayrit, which has appeared on the Philippine Star on January 12, 1999.

Principle #14: Benefits of Breathing Exercise

"Breathing techniques can be very successful in “calming the mind and nurturing the spirit”. Coupled with meditation, it can reduce stress and promote good health." (excerpt from the original article)

Experts have proposed the value of breathing and meditation in handling stress. They say that it relaxes the body and thus, it provides relief from fatigue and stress related irritations.

While I am surfing the net, I have come across Dr Andrew Weil’s site where he teaches different styles of breathing exercises. He says, "Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders." (Andrew Weil, M.D.)

Here’s an example of one breathing exercise he teaches:

Sit in a comfortable position with the spine straight and head inclined slightly forward. Gently close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Then let the breath come naturally without trying to influence it. Ideally it will be quiet and slow, but depth and rhythm may vary.

  •     To begin the exercise, count "one" to yourself as you exhale.
  •     The next time you exhale, count "two," and so on up to "five."
  •     Then begin a new cycle, counting "one" on the next exhalation.

Never count higher than "five," and count only when you exhale. You will know your attention has wandered when you find yourself up to "eight," "12," even "19."

Try to do 10 minutes of this form of meditation.

Personally, when you find yourself in a very stressful day, nothing beats talking to a person who listens well and responds swiftly. The best form of meditation is still prayer. You may not hear God’s voice audibly, but He warms your heart more than any other. His presence will calm your weary soul and lift your spirit up. You won’t get disappointed if you try it.

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