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    Default Proper Breathing

    Proper Breathing
    By Bob Hubbard


    The idea of a guide to breathing seems rather strange to some. After all, we all do it automatically. But, like everything else, there is a right way to breath to maximize its benefit to you.

    The most common breathing uses only the top half of our lungs. This leaves the bottom portion unused and tends to hinder the fullest absorption of oxygen due to the retention of stale air. This stale air and poor use of our lung capacity effects every organ in our bodies. Every day we take thousands of breaths but rarely will we think about how to improve the process.

    Proper deep breathing combined with meditation can reduce stress, expand your consciousness, deepen insights and help create inner peace. Even without meditation, properly breathing can help keep you alert and energized to face the trials of the day.

    We enter this world in a soft, relaxed state, gradually growing harder as we age. As we age, we forget how to breathe at our full capacity, taking shallower and shallower breaths. This should be a concern.

    One of the first things the singer and musician learn is proper breath control. Body builders and weight training includes proper breathing instruction.

    Tai chi, Yoga and other meditative practices require you to become attuned to your breathing at an early stage. In order to bet the maximum from these studies, it is vitally important that the body and the mind receive sufficient oxygen. The act of breathing itself is important for proper bodily function. It massages the internal organs and moves both nutrients and wastes. From a meditative perspective, focusing on proper breathing unclutters your mind, and helps you to relax. How often have you had trouble sleeping and heard "focus on your breathing" or "breath slow and count your breaths"?
    So, breathing right is important. But, how do you do it?

    In order to understand the right way to breath, you must also know the wrong ways. You want to avoid what are called "Clavicle" and "Thoracic" breathing. In "Clavicle breathing", the abdomen is sucked in and the shoulders and collarbone are raised. It is the shallowest type giving the least benefit. Expanding the rib muscles does “Thoracic breathing” which is where the stomach is often sucked in but the chest rises and falls..

    Proper breathing is more than simply "breath in, breath out". Proper breathing involves the abdomen, and four distinct stages: Inhalation, retention, exhalation and pause.

    Inhalation
    Never force yourself to inhale to the point where you feel so full you might burst. A common mistake, you should never try to force it beyond comfortable fullness. Go about 2/3's full. Don't try to suck in all the air you can as fast as you can. Do it at a slow and steady pace for maximum effect. Breath with your abdomen. To get the feel for this, while wearing loose clothing, lie on your back. Place your hand on the upper abdomen, where the diaphragm is located, approximately just under your rib line. Breathe in and out slowly. The abdomen should expand outward as you inhale and contract as you exhale.

    Retention
    A common mistake is to breath in and out as fast as you can. This can cause you to become lightheaded, and you get minimal effectiveness of the air. Instead, after breathing in about 2/3 of a lungful of air, hold it for about 3-4 seconds. This allows for proper exchange of oxygen and toxins through the cell walls, and can slow down your heartbeat and reduce blood pressure. Proper retention has many therapeutic benefits to the body.

    Exhalation
    Don't try to force the air out. Empty from the top to the bottom, in a relaxed manner.

    Pause
    When the lungs are completely empty, pause for a few seconds. This will allow the abdominal wall and diaphragm to relax so that they may operate at the best of their ability on the next breath.

    Proper deep breathing can reduce stress, expand your mind, increase your endurance and energy, and keep you alert. Shallow or incorrect breathing can leave you clouded, tired and lethargic. Regardless of your activity, remember to breath. Be aware of how you are breathing, and focus on a slow deep relaxed breath. You'll find you will be more effective in your daily activities.

    ===

    Bob Hubbard is an administrator of the popular martial arts sites MartialTalk.com and KenpoTalk.com. He is president of SilverStar WebDesigns inc., a web site design and hosting company specializing in affordable solutions for martial artists. A student of all the arts, he is currently studying Modern Arnis. More of Bob's articles can be found at rustaz.net. Please contact Bob if you would like him to review your martial arts product.

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    ©2006 Bob Hubbard - Copies of this article are free to distribute, provided all text is retained intact.
    For ANY and ALL KenpoTalk issues, please use theContact Us link here or at page bottom right. Do NOT PM me for site support.

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    Default Re: Proper Breathing

    Great post! To often important concepts like breathing get overlooked as many focus on the physical side of things. It's all related and connected. If you breath correctly then you will improve on the physical side as well.
    IMHO =)
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Proper Breathing

    [quote=Bob Hubbard;16206 Proper deep breathing combined with meditation can reduce stress, expand your consciousness, deepen insights and help create inner peace. Even without meditation, properly breathing can help keep you alert and energized to face the trials of the day.So, breathing right is important. But, how do you do it?
    [/quote]

    Thank you Bob,

    Proper breathing for meditation?

    For relaxation?

    What about the breathing methods that add speed, power, timing, etc to the Kenpo Karate arts?

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Proper Breathing

    Ah, now focused breathing and the martial aspects of breath control would be another article.

    My focus is more relaxation, meditation and proper oxygenation in a resting state or calming state. (hope that made sense)
    For ANY and ALL KenpoTalk issues, please use theContact Us link here or at page bottom right. Do NOT PM me for site support.

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    Default Re: Proper Breathing

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Hubbard View Post
    Ah, now focused breathing and the martial aspects of breath control would be another article.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Hubbard View Post

    My focus is more relaxation, meditation and proper oxygenation in a resting state or calming state. (Hope that made sense)


    Yep. A long time thing with me.

    I've been doing hypnosis since about 66.

    Then I became a Silva Mind Control Trainer in the early 80's. What is funny is that I never really did learn proper breath control (even though I THOUGHT I knew it when I wrote MT of a W in 78) until the mid 80's. I actually have a chapter on it (good enough) in that 30 year old book.

    Many people get confused about the "action INTENTION state™" and the "meditative INTENTION state™".

    The brain waves, the breathing, and the physiologies are totally different for peak performance.

    In fact for the best physical peak performance you go into gamma, and your heart beat SPEEDS UP, and does NOT slow down like in the meditative state.

    Using something like the "Pillars of Power™”, an NLP anchoring sequence I developed in the early 80's is much more productive for martial arts than a meditative state is, even if you are using some type of Sports Mind training drill.

    Let me know if I can help.

    ©Dr. John M. La Tourrette


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    Default Re: Proper Breathing

    Quote Originally Posted by John M. La Tourrette View Post
    I've been doing hypnosis since about 66.
    Then I became a Silva Mind Control Trainer in the early 80's. What is funny is that I never really did learn proper breath control (even though I THOUGHT I knew it when I wrote MT of a W in 78) until the mid 80's. I actually have a chapter on it (good enough) in that 30 year old book.
    Many people get confused about the "action INTENTION state™" and the "meditative INTENTION state™".
    The brain waves, the breathing, and the physiologies are totally different for peak performance.
    In fact for the best physical peak performance you go into gamma, and your heart beat SPEEDS UP, and does NOT slow down like in the meditative state.
    Using something like the "Pillars of Power™”, an NLP anchoring sequence I developed in the early 80's is much more productive for martial arts than a meditative state is, even if you are using some type of Sports Mind training drill.©Dr. John M. La Tourrette
    What I find interesting is how stopping a breath is very important at times. Like if you want instant visual acuity, pause the breath and focus on the eyes.

    But if your eyes are blurry, then close the eyes and do the breathing drill that Bob pointed us to for 15-20 complete cycles...open your eyes and notice how much clearer you can see.

    Many, many things to do with the breathe that will positively affect performance.

    DOC

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    Default Re: Proper Breathing

    Quote Originally Posted by John M. La Tourrette View Post
    What I find interesting is how stopping a breath is very important at times. Like if you want instant visual acuity, pause the breath and focus on the eyes.

    But if your eyes are blurry, then close the eyes and do the breathing drill that Bob pointed us to for 15-20 complete cycles...open your eyes and notice how much clearer you can see.

    Many, many things to do with the breathe that will positively affect performance.

    DOC
    Then the "fire breath" is very good for getting yourself more in the fast mood. After 3 sequences of it you'll be wide awake and raring to go in about 3 seconds.

    DOC

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    Default Re: Proper Breathing

    Quote Originally Posted by John M. La Tourrette View Post
    Then the "fire breath" is very good for getting yourself more in the fast mood. After 3 sequences of it you'll be wide awake and raring to go in about 3 seconds.

    DOC
    Sorry, Doc, I've GOT to say this...
    Is the "fire breath" when you wake up the morning after a night of eating nuclear wings and drinking beer?

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    Default Re: Proper Breathing

    Quote Originally Posted by Black St1300 View Post
    Sorry, Doc, I've GOT to say this...
    Is the "fire breath" when you wake up the morning after a night of eating nuclear wings and drinking beer?
    Naw.

    I call that "feces eating dog breath".

    Dogs eat the weirdest things.

    And it is good for running off people.

    DOC

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    Default Re: Proper Breathing

    Quote Originally Posted by John M. La Tourrette View Post
    Then the "fire breath" is very good for getting yourself more in the fast mood. After 3 sequences of it you'll be wide awake and raring to go in about 3 seconds.
    DOC
    It's one of the "get wide awake" drills that I taught at my last seminar.

    Visualize a beach-ball globe of energy about 12 inches above your head.

    Take a DEEP BREATH in through your nose...

    ...then reach up and grab that ball of energy with both hands...

    ...and AS QUICK AS YOU CAN...

    ...PULL it down through your body (Top chakra to root chakra) as you release all your breath....

    ...with a WHOOSH sound.

    Do three times.

    DOC

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    Default Re: Proper Breathing

    Quote Originally Posted by John M. La Tourrette View Post
    It's one of the "get wide awake" drills that I taught at my last seminar.

    Visualize a beach-ball globe of energy about 12 inches above your head.

    Take a DEEP BREATH in through your nose...

    ...then reach up and grab that ball of energy with both hands...

    ...and AS QUICK AS YOU CAN...

    ...PULL it down through your body (Top chakra to root chakra) as you release all your breath....

    ...with a WHOOSH sound.

    Do three times.

    DOC
    If anyone is actually curious about breathing methods used by some of the best people around, I do recommend "Psychic Breathing" by Robert Crookall.

    He was not a man with an opinion, but a scientific researcher.

    I love people that are like that.

    DOC

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    Carol (07-30-2007)

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