REMEDIAL BREATHING EXERCISES
Certain exercises bring peace into the mind and soothe the nerves; by the practice of these exercises, even a man of weak constitution may sep fairly good, trouble-free health.
Complete breathing exercise:
Lie on the back. Keep the knees flexed. Keep yourself relaxed. Place both hands on the upper thorax.
Breathe in, expanding the upper thorax first. Concentrate on expanding only the upper thorax. Do not force the pace. Extend the breathing according to your capacity, count 3, 4 or 5 in the beginning and gradually increase to 6, 7 or 8 in a few days. Do not hold the breath (kumbhaka). Breathe out gently, keeping the same rhythm and press the upper thorax downward. Repeat six times.
Place the hands on the sides of the thorax or the sides of the rib cage. Feel the rib cage expanding at the sides when breathing in. Expand gradually according to your capacity; count to 3, 4 or 5 in the beginning and gradually increase the count to 6, 7 or 8 after a few days. Breathe out in the same rhythm, pressing gently the sides of the rib cage with both hands. Repeat 6 times.
Place both hands on the abdomen, just above the navel. Breathe in, expanding the abdomen only, count to 3, 4 or 5; gradually increase the count to 6, 7 or 8 after a few days. Breathe out gently. Pressing the abdomen downward till the abdomen feels empty, Always breathe out through the nose. Then repeat the whole process from below upwards. Repeat breathing in and out from abdomen, to mid-thorax and upper thorax. The rhythm is important. Rest about thirty seconds.
This exercise is of tremendous value to atheletes and sports-men, swimmers and divers. It is beneficial to the convalescent after surgery, to the nervous and to those who have a weak constitution.
Never inhale forcibly. The mind must be calm during the breathing exercise.
“The only process that the Rajayogin find helpful enough to be worth doing is nadi-suddhi or the purification of the nerve system by regular breathing….”
Sit in any comfortable and relaxed position. Keep the back and the next erect. Place the right thumb on the right nostril. Keep the left nostril free. Place the index and the middle fingers between the eyebrows. Leave the third finger slightly away from the left nostril. Start breathing through the left nostril; follow the breath, imagine that the breath is coming from the region of the heart, near the solar plexus. Follow it and feel that it is going to all the senses and all round the brain. Do not hold or stop the breath (kumbhaka). The whole process of breathing is meant to calm the mind. Do not force or strain during the breathing. Hold the breath for a second, then press the left nostril with the third finger and remove the right thumb from the right nostril. Breathe out from the right nostril, gently keeping the same rhythm as in the in-breathing. The position of the hand remains continuously in the same position. Now breathe in from the right nostril with the same rhythm. In the beginning count 5 or 6 while breathing in and 5 or 6 while breathing out. After a few days you can increase the count to 8, 10 or 12 breathing in and breathing out. A smooth continuous rhythm is important.
Forcible in-breathing and out-breathing is contra-indicated. Holding the breath without proper guidance can give a dangerous reaction which can cause irreparable damage. Remember to increase the counts gradually. The best results can be obtained in the morning and at night before going to bed. Regularity, discipline and keeping the mind calm are the first necessary steps to get the best results.
Best Universal exercise for every body: