Breathing is such an autonomous part of our bodily functions that we really never pay attention to it at all…….but, if you stop whatever you are doing and observe it mindfully, you will know how you are inhaling and exhaling air into your lungs.
Do you realise that when we breathe, the air that is taken in and then out is not the entire capacity of your lungs? That is to say, there will always be a certain quantity of stale air staying in your lungs!
Now, here is a good breathing exercise that I have learned a few years ago to really cleanse your lungs thoroughly, and to jump start your day when you do this a few times (like 5 or so) in the morning . At this time of the day when the air is so crisp and fresh, I will do this lung cleansing breathing :-
1) Stand in a relaxed position. Arms loose at your sides and legs slightly apart.
2) Through your nostrils, breathe out normally as you always do………. then breathe in. Do this a couple of times.
3) Now, slowly exhale through your mouth until you can’t anymore……….but don’t stop here, because there is actually more stale air in your lungs left in the lungs which we don’t usually exchange when we do our normal breathing.
Next, you force your diaphragm to push out the innermost air from your lungs by panting, “hah……hah…..hah….” with your mouth………..until you know there is almost no air in your lungs. You will be amazed how far you can go at this “hah” part! (I counted up to 10 on my part!)
At this point, you can feel your stomach and abdomen flattening inwards.
4) Through your nose, slowly breathe in the fresh, clean air into your oxygen starved lungs…………
5) Fill up your lungs and hold your breath for 5 seconds, counting slowly 1….2….3……4…..5. At this stage, the oxygen is being circulated through your lungs and to all the cells in your body! How invigorating indeed! For me, I can actually feel my whole body coming alive and my brain is much more clear, not as fuzzy as before.
6) Exhale through your mouth again until you can’t and then you force yourself to pant again, going “hah…..hah……hah….” to squeeze out all the air from your lungs.
Repeat Step 4.
Do this for as many times as you like. Other than cleaning almost all the air in your lungs, there is another good benefit of this breathing exercise ===> did you notice that your stomach/abdomen seems to be tighter and flatter?
Well, when you are exhaling all the air out from your lungs, both the lungs are being deflated, thus resulting in the diaphragm going up to just right below the lungs. When the diaphragm goes up, it creates a space in our abdomen cavity and our internal organs will fall into place to move into that space. How wonderful!
Next time, I will give you the recipe for a really good lung cleansing soup which I had learned from my friend, who is a healer and expert in nutritious soups!
Good night and sweet dreams from KL!