Day 18 – 21 – Oh yes, don’t forget to breathe!


3 hours of yoga yesterday.

Today, I should be a wreck. A tightened bundle of sore muscles with daggers of sharp pain in my joints.

I’m not though. I kept going.

Hydrated like never before.

For the past 21 days I’ve been checking myself. And now that I’ve gained more flexibility, I can concentrate more on adjusting the poses to where I should be. I’m not striving as hard now, but it is another plateau. The pain and tightness shifts from place to place, even inbetween poses. The only thing I can prepare for is the possibility of change, and not hesitate in exploring. I’m just a beginner at this. It might take decades until I can get to textbook positions.

The real experts, what do they concentrate on? Their breath. Just breathing.

Not the fact that they have contorted their bodies into a crazy pretzel shape which compresses their organs, glands, muscles, skin, sweat… They concentrate on breathing. “Yeah, so I have my right foot in my left ear, balancing on my big toe on my left leg, while I’m looking at the ceiling and the right corner of the studio. Hands are on hips and chest. Not a problem. Work on breath.”

We don’t do enough of that. Proper breathing that is. When we are under stress, we only use the top portion of our lungs, not getting down into deeper breaths. Shoulders hunch up, shallow breathing stresses our hearts to pump faster, until we can actually get ourselves into a panic state. It’s a type of negative biofeedback that we do to ourselves. But why? Because we focus on the negative.

So stretch back and away from the computer, take a few deep breaths, lean over the back of the office chair. Smile, and breathe.

Here’s what I’ve observed in myself so far…

For releasing tension and negativity and embrace relaxation, I do more diaphragm breathing. Keep your ribs still (hand on chest), push your belly out with inhaling, then pull it back in. SLOWLY! This will also help massage the abdomen and dump carbon dioxide that may not be moving out of the lungs.

Better oxygenation means you can also think clearer. Clarity.

But your mind tends to wander when you are concentrating on your breath. Groceries, the household chores, bills, that argument you had, past regrets, that song that won’t get out of your head. Stop. Change your focus. Go back to the feeling of the air rushing through your nose, deep down into your belly, then concentrate on flexing those abs to push it out. Slowly.

When you breath in a panicked or stressful state, you become that state.

Give yourself a break, and breathe easier.
Om still here,
Pearce

P.S. For more breathing techniques, go to the Library, your local YOGA studio, and your doctor. Or the Internet, if you have to. Look up Pranayama breathing, stress removal and breathing techniques. Then look up cute pictures of baby animals, you are going to do it anyways.

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