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The Covid crisis has highlighted how we have become sedentary. The virus attacks the lungs and those with previous weaknesses in vital organs. To be prepared no matter what age or condition you are, this virus has highlighted the need to strengthen your lungs. When to ? Any time It is a matter of fact that to exercise our lungs with regular breathing exercises has helped to combat the virus both before and after infection.Cardiologists and pulmonary experts all say that the most effective way to beat Covid is with good old cardio-vascular exercise. To get your lungs into a condition strong enough, whatever your age, doctors say, “Anything that makes you breathe faster is basically a breathing exercise,” yes, a brisk walk or a bike ride are better, but even if you have not had that sort of exercise for years there are a number of yoga style breathing rhythms to assist you to get out of that armchair eventually but will stand you in good stead. How to ? Anyhow Method One: 1:4:2In, Hold and Out This is a very effective method that I use to exercise my lungs morning and evening before getting out of bed and before sleeping. I sit cross-legged in bed with my back away from the headboard, my hands open at the palms to receive the divine energy. IN: I breathe in through the nose, ensuring that my breath always goes to the pit of my stomach. I concentrate on the area just below my navel. You should feel your belly expanding as you breathe in. In my case I count to six but you can start with whatever you are comfortable with. HOLD: Then I hold for a count of four times on the inward breath, still concentrating on that area below the bellybutton. When I count my inward breath as six, I hold it in to the count of twenty-four. OUT: Aggressively breathe out but make sure that you count to the full twice the breathing in rate. For my inward count of six then the outward is for twelve, but you have to make it a full on twelve, expending all the bad air, the carbon dioxide out, feel that sucking in of your belly completely as you exhale for that count. Where to ?Anywhere We have a number of ancient and effective methods refined for this century. The most proven method which relies on and creates breathing techniques is Meditation. Meditation, the science of internal access, allows you to discover wisdom and realise a fountain of creativity. You can miraculously master these six breathing techniques proved by the ancients to bring health and wellbeing to both mind and body. 1 Luxuriate in the presence of silence. Rest your heart, wherever you can, whether it be in the bath, or seated on a cushion, or walking in the woods, with or without your God, just settle into the noise of silence and make that your resting point. 2 Focus on a single object or idea and let go. There are many ways to do this, maybe you have a clock, a piece of pottery, a buddha statue, a religious icon or a cross. I have always had a memory of moonlight in a line from the horizon of the ocean back to where I sat on the shore of the Mediterranean many years ago, a spiritual vision that has endured for forty years. 3 Contemplate an open space. My vision is enough for me, the vast ocean ahead, with gently rolling waves. You maybe have a field of corn, or flowers in your garden. Associate smells from that garden, or coffee in a silent room. Anything that touches you within your mind, maybe the Milky Way at night, that helps you connect with the divine creation of our Maker. Any experience from looking into vast open spaces, whether a memory or a creation in the mind, settles your heart until you are naturally ready for the breathing exercises. All meditation focuses on breath. 4Bastrika: Breathing is closely connected to the mind as well as the body. Once you have relaxed your mind by the first three methods, practice this ancient Sanskrit rapid breathing exercise that appears as if you are hyperventilating. Where? Anywhere, even the office. When? Whenever you feel stressed out, fearful, or anxious, even if you can just spare the time. It is great before a business meeting or speech. Sometimes you could even do this during that meeting. How?You will find that doing this exercise regularly will increase your energy. It will prepare you for a later deep meditation. ·Let your breath find its own way, don’t try to control it. It may feel that your breath is leading the way itself. When you become guided by your breath you will know it and your mind will have the power to stop when it is right. ·One set of Bastrika is ten to twelve rapid breaths, but you can start with what suits you and grow to that number. Once you are into your rhythm do four or five sets a day, but don’t pressure yourself, gradually get into a regular pattern. ·Exhale all the breath completely, then do rapid inhalations and exhalations twelve times through your nose, right down to that lower pit of your stomach. Just move your stomach, not your shoulders. ·Take a deep breath, always take it down to your belly, concentrate on an area between your bellybutton and your pubic area, as the breath goes down to there. · You can do this exercise sitting straight-backed in a chair or cross-legged on the floor or a cushion. It is better to let the air flow through your back from the spine up to your lungs. 5Ham Sa or So Ham: Listen to your breath. Inwards there is the natural sound ·Close your eyes and concentrate on your breath.·Again, sit on natural fabrics such as wool with your back free. ·An aromatic candle, or incense, can create serenity. Remember to use the same fragrance regularly as that will jog your memory banks each time. ·Wear loose clothing or natural materials. Silk is best. In the East silk is considered to bring on spiritual energy. It is undoubtedly an especially soothing choice for meditation. ·Select a sacred place, a regular spot, where you either pray, or just do any sub-conscious thinking or contemplation. ·This technique has been practiced by the ancients and has even been referred to in the bible and other religious scriptures as “The Holy Breath.” ham and out sa. In Sanskrit Ham means “I am” and sa means “That” or “Spirit.” By repeating each time that we breathe in and out it is “I am that” which created me.Some schools do this the other way around as “· So HamOr just sit for as long as you feel comfortable. Your mind will tell you when you’ve had enough. ·Do four sets of either of these fourteen times for three sets then follow with seven times for one set. ·.” That, I am. 6Just Relax then? If you are not into meditation or feel that it is a bit “woo” for you just sit in silence and let go for long enough to breathe in and out either in prayer or contemplation of silence daily and you will feel that help will come for any and all problems at the right time. Letting Go Does It. By performing these exercises daily, you will find that your mind will become attuned and special events, moments of importance will align with many thoughts. The discipline of a regular breathing exercise and contemplation on the breath itself will benefit your lungs and subsequently your peace of mind. Words and happenings will be highlighted, and synchronicity will bring miracles to your life, the universe will show you many things.
Written by Ebere Gomwalk-Ijere As a Nigerian living in diaspora I always come home more than once a year. The Covid-19 made this impossible this
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