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Trail: breathe



see also: exercise, yoga, meditation

Pranayama -
Zen in the art of self-resistance

  1. Breathe in slowly and deeply.
  2. As you breathe out slowly, feel yourself beginning to relax; feel the tension leaving your body.
  3. Now breathe in and out slowly and regularly, at whatever rate is comfortable for you. You many wish to try abdominal breathing. If you do not know how to do abdominal breathing, ask your nurse for help.
  4. To help you focus on your breathing and breathe slowly and rhythmically: Breathe in as you say silently to yourself, “in, two, three.” Breathe out as you say silently to yourself, “out, two, three,” or each time you breathe out, say silently to yourself a word such as “peace” or “relax.”
  5. You may imagine that you are doing this in a place you have found very calming and relaxing for you, such as lying in the sun on the beach.
  6. Do steps (1) through (4) only once or repeat steps (3) and (3) for up to 20 minutes.*
  7. End with a slow deep breath. As you breathe out, say to yourself “I feel alert and relaxed.”
Note: If you do intend to do this exercise for more than a few seconds, try to get in a comfortable position in a quiet environment and either close your eyes or focus on an object. This technique has the advantage of being very adaptable in that it may be used for only a few seconds or for up to 20 minutes.

  1. Lie flat on the floor. Raise your knees. (You can put a cushion under them if you wish.)
  2. Put one palm on your upper chest and the other over your navel. (Your objective is to have the lower hand rise first when you breathe in.)
  3. Breathe out fully - and then a little bit more. With practise you will find you can do this by drawing in your abdomen. Pause for 2-4 seconds.
  4. Allow the air to naturally flow in again.
  5. Slowly and calmly repeat this cycle a few times.

yoga breathing techniques

  1. Lie down comfortably on your back on your bed or on a mat or carpeted floor. Position yourself with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent (pointing upward). Simply follow your breathing for a minute or two with your attention. See if you can sense which parts of your body your breath touches.
  2. Continue to follow your breathing as you rub your hands together until they are very warm.
  3. Put your hands (one on top of the other) on your belly, with the center of your lower hand touching your navel. Watch how your breathing responds.
  4. You may notice that your belly wants to expand as you inhale and retract as you exhale. Let this happen, but don’t try to force it.
  5. If your belly seems tight, rub your hands together again until they are warm and then massage your belly, especially right around the outside edge of your belly button. Notice how your belly begins to soften and relax.
  6. Now rub your hands together again until they are warm and put them on your belly again. Watch how this influences your breath. Do not try to do anything. Simply watch and enjoy as your belly begins to come to life, expanding as you inhale and retracting as you exhale.
  7. If your belly still seems overly tight and does not want to move as you breathe, press down with your hands on your belly as you exhale. Then as you inhale, gradually release the tension. Try this several times. Notice how your belly begins to open more on inhalation.
  8. When you are ready to stop, be sure to sense your entire abdominal area, noting any special sensations of warmth, comfort, and energy. Spend a few minutes allowing these sensations to spread into all the cells of your belly all the way back to your spine