Tuesday, June 21, 2005

You're Not Breathing Right!


(Roughly translates into "the spirit in me greets the spirit in you".)

Picture: Gary
Paruszkiewicz, C.S.M.E. & Dr. J.P. Dave', PhD, PsyD at Dr. Dave's recent lecture on Ghandi & Non-Violence! Dr. Dave's father was a friend of Ghandi! Dr. Dave' is the one always telling me I have to take 20 deep breaths while everyone else only has to take 10! Ha! Sorry I'm just not a laidback Type B person! Ha! Dr. Dave also just did a lecture last Friday on the Yoga Philosophy of Relationships which also was AWESOME! I'll make an entry on these later!

In this past Sunday's Chicago Tribune, an article entitled "
As Easy As Breathing?" by Julie Deardorff, talks about the benefits of breathing & why it is most people do not know how to breathe properly! It is a very good article...check it out!

It is stress which causes us to breathe shallow from our lungs rather than from "Tan dien" (hold three fingers out, then place on abdomen with pointing finger just under your navel. Under your third is Tan Dien!).  Tan dien is where your "Chi" or life energy resides!

A few quotes from the article:

"Lila Nagarajan, who teaches creative writing at Columbia College, said she sleeps better after having learned breathing techniques though several Art of Living workshops. She has fewer headaches and neckaches and doesn't get as angry about trivial matters as she used to."

Now the FDA approves breath training as a recognized treatment for hypertension and more than 1,000 studies show it relieves anxiety, depression and chronic fatigue without drugs, said Gay Hendricks, also creator of "The Breathing Box," a kit that includes a DVD, a CD, a 48-page guidebook and flashcards."

Gary is my Tai Chi Instructor & I'm certified Level II in Tai Chi for Wellness(C) & hopefully this coming Saturday, after an intensive day of training I will be certified in "Therapeutic Tai Chi 'In-A-Chair'". Gary's method includes Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong and Meditation and can be modified for any level of ability.

Qi Gong is the heavy breath work! "Qi" (or "Chi) is Energy/Breath & "Gong" means Work, so you work your breath/energy! One particular exercise called "Empty in 4 Quarts" you breathe in once & exhale 4 times or rather continue through 4 movements. It is amazing how smokers can find Qi Gong so helpful in quitting!

The nostril breathing they talk about in the article is wonderful & I highly recommend it, although another technique is Alternating Nostril Breathing (
Pranayama Breathing).

If you would like to learn some Yoga stretches check out this
weblink to see how some in motion!

Now you should be doing these techniques each day, not just when you are under stress! It takes much discipline & practice! Try a bit though, say in the car driving, or when you are upset with a loved one or child, you should still see some benefit. It is so amazing how calm I am after I have done a meditation. When I have done progressive relaxation  with my students for 3 classes in a row I'm so relaxed I almost can't walk down the hallway.  Though I have some work to do to get back where I was prior to my foot injury & surgery, I loved it when I use to teach my students Yoga & Tai Chi & they were moaning at 18 yrs old & I was not in my mid 30s!

So take 10 deep breaths right now & then move on to your next mouse click! :-)

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