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Excellent Guide Breathing Techniques and Stress Reduction!
on October 24, 2004
Some may think that it's ridiculous to have a program about breathing. We all do it right?
For those of us who take breathing for granted, there is a Zen tale about a young monk who complains to his master that "meditating on the breath is boring". So the master grabs the student, holds him under water plenty long enough to make his point and then looks at the student and asks "Do you still think the breath is boring? ".... Let's just say that this fellow had a change of heart (and took a nice deep breath) :)
While this program isn't specifically a meditation program the point still remains. While it's obvious that all of us who are alive are already breathing and have been doing so our whole lives, our breathing can be either unconscious or conscious.
Likewise we can either choose to live unconsciously or consciously as well. It is to the conscious control of the breath this program deals with and if practiced regularly it can likely affect your ability to live each moment of your life more consciously as well (a nice side benefit and perhaps the most important one at that).
There is a definite connection between rate of breathing and either stress or relaxation. It is very hard to be in a complete state of stress if your breathing is slow and deep. It doesn't mean you won't encounter stressful events, but you can certainly let them take less of a physical toll on you even when you are dealing with unavoidable stressful situations by not letting your breathing put you into overload.
Becoming relaxed doesn't mean you have to be isolated from the world or zoning out, rather you can be active and functioning but still be relaxed internally by learning to work with your breath. You can also become energized by learning breathwork as well, it depends on the technique(s) you apply.
Dr. Weil does an excellent job first of explaining about the connection of breath to physical (and emotional/mental)well being as well as giving examples of case studies. This is done on the first cassette. The second cassette has guided breathing exercises that are very easy to follow and are quite useful.
I personally find that Dr. Weil is very good at putting things in a way that are very down to earth as well as user friendly. He doesn't claim to be some enlightened master or Guru, just a Doctor who has seen this stuff work in real life with real patients.
I've been working with these tapes for several weeks now and they are tremendous tools that you can work with anytime you need to reconnect with your life force. Whether you want to think of the breath as strictly a physical entity or get into the more metaphysical ideas of thinking of it as prana, there is no doubt that breathing is THE master key to being present and feeling alive.
This program, if used as intended, can definitely help give you control over your ability to regulate your stress levels by using breath work, this can certainly only bring positive health benefits.
It is common knowledge to healers of all modalities (be they "conventional" or "alternative"), that stress can profoundly weaken one's immune system and lead to ill health. Breath work can reduce stress and not only make you feel better physically, but improve the overall quality of your life. Let's face it, life is not of a high quality if you're stressed out and exhausted.
So, here is a wonderful tool that is practical and easy to use, all you need to do is make a choice whether to use this tool or just continue on your frantic, stressed out merry way.
One more thing, this sort of breath work is an excellent bridge to developing a meditation practice.