By Guest Writer: Cindi Lee – Yoga Instructor
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the most vulnerable organs in the Fall Season are the lungs and large intestine. Today we will focus on your lungs. The function of the lungs is to regulate and control the breath through inhalation and exhalation. This can be compromised when the lungs are susceptible to cold, heat, dryness, dampness, and wind.
One of the best ways to keep your lungs healthy is to practice deep breathing. There is nothing more exciting to me than watching men and women breathe from their lower bellies. In our modern day hectic LA lives we tend to do a lot of chest breathing. This kind of breathing makes us anxious and takes years off of our lives. When we breathe deeply we are 1) Connecting to our creativity 2) Listening to our intuition 3) Aware of our true gut feelings 4) Energizing yet relaxing our bodies 5) Releasing physical and emotional toxins.
When I need to get my body going and my juices flowing in the Fall cool mornings, I like to practice Breath of Fire. This generates warmth in my body from the tips of my toes to the tips of my fingers. I think it’s empowering we have the ability to create our own internal heat. Let’s begin…
1. Sit in a comfortable seat, place hands on knees, palms down.
2. Lengthen your spine, close your eyes.
3. Relax your stomach muscles.
4. Now begin to breathe rapidly through the nose with equal emphasis on the inhalation and exhalation. It will be like very fast sniffing. Keep the breath shallow, just at the tip of the nose. Continue at a comfortable pace and establish a steady rhythm. Pay no special attention to the chest or diaphragm other than staying relaxed. You will find the stomach pulses on its own in rhythm to the breath. That’s it, continue for 1 minute.
If you are having one those intense LA days and are feeling on edge; you know when you are in traffic for 3 hours because its raining? You can actually cool down your body and mind with a breathing technique called Sitali. All jokes aside, in April 2010 my dad had a massive hemorrhagic stroke and miraculously survived! During the early months of my dad’s healing process there were mostly moments of extreme gratitude. Plus there were quite a few moments of sheer frustration of the situation. When I found myself wanting to numb my mind/body by chugging a bottle of wine, I took a deep breath and decided to practice Sitali Breathing. I was of much more assistance to my family choosing this method of relaxation. Although a glass of wine doesn’t hurt. Are you ready to relax?
1. Sit in a comfortable seat, place your hands on your knees, palms down, and close your eyes.
2. Stretch your tongue out of your mouth and curl up the sides of your tongue, making a straw.
3. Breathe in through your “straw” from your gut (not from your chest), feel the cool air traveling throughout your body.
4. Draw your tongue into your mouth.
5. Exhale through your nose completely. Repeat 5 times.
Yoga Tip of the week:
Remember, whatever your body needs, you can start the process of healing by tapping into your deep breathing. You will exude a healthy sexiness by showing yourself and those around you how to heal your body from the inside out.
Contributor’s Website: Cindi Lee Yoga