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To Your Health

Breathing For Life, Part II

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02/01/2012 - Hello Again! I hope you learned from last month's article and practiced your breathing. I found myself chuckling because, at my age, I do remember the old Jack LaLaine show. He would have you practice deep breathing and, when you inhaled, you heard the organ music helping you inhale. You would hear it again when you exhaled. (Yes, I'm old but I'm still breathing -- yuck, yuck).

The following information is written and published by William P. Knowles in New Life Through Breathing:

Remember proper posture is important, so sit straight and pull the shoulder blades back to help the lungs inflate. As mentioned before, I am typing this as close to verbatim as I received it, but trying to reduce the technical terminology. Also, make sure you have the previous month's article to refresh your memory and follow with the remaining exercises.

3. The Seven-Second Breath

Start with the cleansing breath (exercise 1) and the slow, deep breath (exercise 2).

After that breathe in for seven seconds; hold one second, and the breathe out for seven seconds. Breathe in again for seven seconds; hold for one second and breathe out for seven seconds. Repeat this seven second breath sequence ten more times (for a total of 12 repetitions).

Both exercises 2 and 3 increase your lung capacity by stretching the intercostal muscles between your ribs. This allows for greater expansion of the lungs, therefore more oxygen intake. These exercises are also excellent for relieving fatigue.

4. The Exhalation Breath

This will probably be the first challenging exercise. Although you may experience discomfort, do not overextend yourself, especially if you have a respiratory or cardiovascular condition. Be wise and grow with this one. It focuses on strengthening the exhalation process and is a major cleansing and detoxifying exercise. This time start with the cleansing breath (exercise 1) and then the seven-second breath (exercise 3) before beginning this exhalation breath (exercise 4):

Sit erect and breath in fully for four seconds. Hold your breath for a second to allow for gas exchange, then exhale for 12 seconds. Wait one second and then inhale slowly for five seconds, then exhale for 15 seconds. Wait a second then inhale for six seconds, and then out for 18 seconds (the multiple of three); then in for seven and out for 21 (again, the multiple of three). Reverse the process going backwards to six, then five, and four.

Count rhythmically, or sit still in front of a clock with a second hand. You will quickly learn to get as much oxygen in as you can because a whole lot of air is getting ready to go out. You will be amazed at the amount of air you have left in your lungs even when you think they are empty. In this exercise, exhaling is the goal.

Note: this is a deep cleansing exercise. You may be coughing a lot in the six-seven second sections. Do enough to be comfortable with it. Enjoy the expulsion. There may be a little coughing. If you get sputum out of your lungs from coughing, that is okay. Spit it out and continue. If you notice that it is yellow, it could indicate an infection. Smokers hack up lots of stuff that is thick and has color to it, but the yellow stuff could be dead white blood cells that may have been fighting some kind of infection. If you notice that this yellow color continues to show up in this exercise, consult with your doctor. The exhalation breath cleanses all the areas and is great for overcoming respiratory infections. The coughing is somewhat expected -- just don't overdo it.

Well, unfortunately I cannot complete this article as I had planned, but my thinking is that if you do these for this month you should be primed for the final two exercises and closing information in the March issue. Until then, see ya!

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