In last week’s blog post, I shared with you a type of breathing that is particularly useful when feeling stressed because it helps balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. This is called abdominal or diaphragmatic breathing in which the diaphragm, that large muscle below the ribcage drops on the inhale to causing the belly to expand.
I would like to expand on that simple exercise in this week’s post by adding a couple of simple things to do that will further benefit your sense of well being:
Place the tip of the tongue on the upper palate behind the teeth. Relax the root of the tongue. This subtle movement actually connects two main energy channels (meridians) in the body into which all of the others flow. Take a deep breath in and let the shoulders drop on the exhale.
Turn the corners of the mouth slightly upward so that you look like a Buddha deep in meditation. Remember, you can do this anywhere, in fact, you will look much better! Notice how the area in between the eyebrows becomes more open and relaxed.
Now begin breathing like you learned last week letting the belly expand on the inhale and contract on the exhale. These are the basic building blocks of qigong practice, a means to support your health through breath awareness, mental focus and gentle movement.
Let me know if you have any questions.