"Qi Gong for beginners" by Stanley D Wilson ISBN 0915801752

Qi Gong for Beginners by Stanley D Wilson

Some of the benefits of abdominal breathing:

Boosted energy levels
Improved stamina
Decreased heart rate and lower blood pressure
Increased blood flow and supply of oxygen to the heart, brain and other organs
Improved cellular regeneration
Activation of the relaxation response
Relief of tension and shutting off of stress hormones
Relief of headaches and anxiety disorders
Ability to achieve peace of mind
Bringing body and mind into harmony
Increase in immune system cells, promoting healing and strengthening resistance to disease
Increase of pleasure-inducing neurochemicals in the brain to elevate moods and combat physical pain

Further benefits can be gained in performing Qi Gong (chee kung)

Be aware of how good it feels to breathe!

Exercises:

Slow your breathing down

Tip for instant calm. Brilliant anywhere and useful in a stressful situation...

Watch a clock or wrist watch with a second hand and see if you can breath slowly and deeply enough to reduce your breathing right down by counting the seconds as you breath in and out....

Don't overdo it - start with a higher figure say 16 breaths, then 8 then 4 - breath as slowly and fully as you can (only do what feels comfortable, as everyone is different). Sense the relaxation that occurs in your body and mind as you slow your breathing down.

When you can breath twice in one minute you will be really relaxed!

This means breathing in for 15 seconds, breathing out for 15 seconds, breathing in again for 15 seconds, and breathing out for another 15 seconds. Only do this if it feels comfortable - no force, no effort and no straining.

Alpha state

Count down from 24 to 0 without interruption and without any thoughts entering your head. If you get interrupted start again! Once you have got to 0 your arms should feel light as you lift them - if they do you are in what is known as Alpha state - instant relaxation! After practice it works brilliantly and you can do it anywhere!

Centre yourself

A surprisingly simple exercise that also works well is to breathe in, in one long slow breath and concentrate on the area a couple of inches below your navel (or belly button). This quickly centres your whole body and relaxes you immediately. You can do this anytime for an instant calming effect.

Only breathe up your left nostril!

Now the title has gripped you here is a great way to keep your cool! This technique comes from a book called "Instant Life Coach - 200 Brilliant Ways To Be Your Best" by Lynda Field ISBN 0091906709

Don't laugh; research shows our emotional states can be controlled by tuning into the different hemispheres of the brain. When we breathe through our left nostril we are connecting with the right side of our brain, which controls our receptive, spiritual and inner awareness.

Try it now and the next time you are hot and bothered - it will cool you down so that you can think straight.

(1) Right thumb over right nostril, just lightly closing it off

(2) Exhale. Inhale slowly through left nostril for twenty complete breaths. Keep mouth closed. Make breaths as long and smooth as you can. Each time you exhale let go of any tension, hurt, anger, irritability and negative emotions. Visualise these emotions draining out of your body so that you feel clear and positive.

(3) You may have to excuse yourself for a few moments to do this. It's also useful on the telephone when it is possible to do it without being detected.