- Exercise & Fitness
Increase your health with deep breathing exercises
The benefits of deep breathing
Deep breathing exercises have long been practiced by the Ancient Chinese. While deep breathing was considered the link to connect the body with the mind, ancient beliefs and modern research is teaching us about the wonderful benefits of proper deep breathing techniques. The nearly effortless exercises can assist the body in fighting stress, relieving emotional as well as physical tension. Deep breathing also increases oxygenation which assists the body in the metabolic processes including the elimination of toxins. Different body systems including organs are rejuvenated allowing them to function more effectively.
Upholding Heaven with the Two Hands
This is a simple tool to harmonize the respiratory system, the digestive system and the excretory system including sexual functions. It stretches the Triple Warmer Meridian which harmonizes all organs of the above mentioned systems. According to ancient chinese beliefs, the longevity exercice connects the organs of the respiratory system, the digestive system and the excretory system with each other improving its functions harmonizing our inner balance. This exercise is also a wonderful way to relief shoulder tension. The stretch is beneficial for the entire upper muscular system and if practiced regularly can help in preventing arthritis .
Stand with your feet comfortably apart keeping your arms at your sides. Keep your eyes open during the entire exercise.
Focus on your breath. Slowly inhale by filling your belly with air, breathing in through your nose while raising your arms out to the sides and up above your head.
Interlock your fingers with your palms facing down. Keep your fingers interlocked while rotating your hands so that your palms face the sky. Look up at the back of your hands. Inhale more, stretching upward as if you are wanting to push your hands up towards heaven.
Keep focusing on your breath. Exhale while you let your arms float down to your sides. Keep exhaling letting go of your tension. Relax your shoulders
Repeat this deep breathing exercise at least five more times. Focus on your breathing allowing your body to relax each time you exhale.
Opening the Bow
This breathing exercise increases the capacity and resiliency of the lungs. It helps the health of our skin, further building resistance to chills. In addition to that, the opening the bow exercise strengthens our shoulders and arms.
Stand with your feet comfortably apart and cross your arms in front of you at the level of your chest. Clench your hands as if you are holding a large bow.
Inhale deeply as you bring your left arm straight to the left as if you were holding the bow aiming at something in the distance. At the same time you bend your right arm and pull it back as if you were pulling the bow string back.
Exhale as you gently release the bow, now crossing your arms in front of you again at the level of your chest.
Repeat this exercise on the opposite side. Practice it three times watching your breathing.
Raising your arms one at a time
This breathing exercise adusts and harmonizes the spleen and stomach. The small and large intestine meridians are regulated as well. The triple Warmer Meridian key point, located at the back of the wrist are stimulated which helps balance the digestive system.
Stand with your feet comfortably apart crossing your arms in front of you at the level oft he solar plexus.
Inhale and raise your left hand straight over your head with the palm facing the sky. At the same time your right hand is lowered with your right palm facing the ground.
Bring your head back and exhale while returning your hands and head to their starting position.
Switch sides and repeat the exercise 5-6 times.
This breathing exercise rejuvenates the heart, the spleen, the lungs, the kidneys and the liver. If practiced regularly this exercise can keep the muscles of the neck flexible and prevent neck stiffness. This also strengthens the upper back and shoulders.
Stand with your feet comfortably apart. Cross your arms in front of your upper chest and tuck your chin into the hollow of the throat. This stretches the back of the neck.
Inhale deeply and open your arms at about a 45 degree angle. Turn your head to the left looking as far behind you as possible. Pull your arms back arching your chest up and out.
Exhale returning your arms and head to starting position.
Switch sides and repeat exercise 5-6 times each side.
Swaying your Head
This breathing exercise strengthens and balances the digestive organs and the lower back. It also improves the circulation and condition of the heart. It eliminates the excess fire in the heart which can lead to headaches, hypertension, anger and frustration.
Stand with your legs apart. Bend your knees slightly keeping your feet flat on the ground.
Bring your hands together by interlocking your thumbs only.
Stretch your arms straight up to the sky.
Keep your arms straight and draw a large circle with your hands going clockwise.
As you come up do the same exercise in the opposite direction. If you do get dizzy try to go slower.
Ancient chinese beliefs claim that this exercise eliminates 100 diseases. This breathing exercise does rejuvenate all of the internal organs, especially the kidneys.
Place your hands at the sides below your hip.
Inhale and arch your back while your eyes follow the movement. Bend your knees slightly.
Gently bend backwards while exhaling.
Return to the starting position and inhale.
Exhale as you drop your hand and back forward trying to grasp a hold of your toes. Relax and exhale.
Return to starting position, inhale and repeat seven times.
This ancient breathing exercise enables the body to collect vital energy. It improves the circulation and balances the body’s energy. According to the ancient chinese practitioners, it can improve insomnia, poor appetite, high blood pressure, eye problems and problems related to the liver, stomach and kidneys.
Stand with your feet comfortably apart.
Grasp the ground with your toes by firmly curling them.
Tighten your buttock muscles and contract your anus. This will raise the rectum strengthening the reproductive and eliminatory systems.
Relax your upper body including face and jaw.
Look straight ahead or you may even close your eyes if you prefer.
Swing your arms back and forth to the limit of your arms range of motion. Swing one hundred times and gradually increase.
Your upper body needs to stay relaxed while your lower body stays firm and holds the ground. Make sure your back and neck are in one straight line. Keep swinging your arms.
Keep inhaling and exhaling and stay aware of your body.