||By Carole Tessier
|Breathing: it’s free, you’ve already got all the equipment you need and you can practise it anytime, anyplace. The trick is to get it right.
The Healing Breath
Oxygen is the source of all energy in the body, so everyone should be paying closer attention to breathing correctly. Proper breathing eliminates toxins in the body, purifies your blood, improves sexuality, and enables you to assimilate food better.
Poor breathing is quite common and its harmful effects include increased stress, anxiety, a lack of confidence and an inability to concentrate. The good news is that these effects can be reversed by developing good breathing habits.
If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, you’re probably familiar with the word “pranayama”. “Pranayama” consists of controlled breathing practices. It should be practised two or three times a day, with an empty stomach and bladder. Only a few minutes of the exercise are necessary, and do not exceed three to five minutes per session.
This is the simplest of the patterns, switching from one nostril to the other between exhalation and inhalation.
• Exhale through the right nostril.
• Switch and inhale through the left nostril.
• Repeat this pattern twice, for a total of three breaths.
• Reverse the pattern, exhaling left and inhaling right, for a total of three breaths.
• Take three resting breaths.
Ensure that the alignment of the nose, head and neck is balanced. Relax and focus on breathing for a few seconds.
• Maintain posture and curl in your index finger and middle finger to touch the base of the thumb.
• Use your thumb to close your right nostril and your ring finger to close your left nostril. Press lightly just below the point where the bony part of nose begins.
• Start by closing the left nostril, then exhale and inhale through the right nostril.
• Switch and exhale and inhale through the left nostril.
• Continue switching from side to side, two or three times. Take three resting breaths through both nostrils between rounds (it takes nine breaths to complete one round).
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