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Why breathe better?

Very few people breathe correctly. Some people use only the upper part of their lungs; others breathe with only the diaphragm (lower part) leaving the upper structures of the lungs inactive and partially collapsed. In those parts of the lung that are not used, slimy secretions accumulate and the tissues become devitalized. Thus, a luxurious medium is prepared for the tubercule bacillus, pneumococcus and other scavenger germs. This habit of shallow breathing accounts, in a good measure, for the fact that one third of all deaths result from diseases of the lungs. For one individual perishing from food starvation, thousands are dying from oxygen starvation!

The effectiveness of breathing exercises depends upon the mental attitude during the time of practice. Each motion should be accompanied by a conscious effort to make it produce a certain result. Much more can be accomplished through mental concentration by keeping your mind on what you are doing than by performing exercises in an indifferent, aimless way.

Do not breathe through the mouth.Your body is designed so that outer air must reach the lungs by way of the nose whose membranes are lined with tiny hairs and mucous which serve as wonderful filters. Also, the air is warmed and moistened before it reaches the lungs, which is extremely important.

If you have specific breathing disorders, such as mouth breathing, asthma, apnia, etc., write to me and I will give you specific exercises for your condition.

To enhance the utilization of the increased oxygen and prana, yogis have developed several bhandas, or locks, which direct the energy, which has been generated. These lock are sometimes called switches. To achieve a lock, all you need to do is tighten specific muscles.

We will be using three locks - the root lock, the diaphragm lock and the neck lock. All three locks performed in unison is called the great lock, the mahabhanda.

The root lock is activated by tensing the muscles at the base of your pelvic region, including the anus and sex organs. To apply this lock, pull you abdomen toward your spine and tighten the muscles in your pelvic region. This lock transmits energy from the prlvic region to the diaphragm area. This lock also increases sexual energy.

The diaphragm lock is best applied by lifting your diaphragm toward your chest, and pulling your upper abdominal muscles toward your spine. This can be visualized as 'sucking in your gut.' This lock channels energy farther upward, to the neck region. Application of this lock generally stimulates mental energy. As a rule, it is applied upon exhalation.

The neck lock is applied by pulling the muscles of your neck and throat back toward your spine. When you apply this lock, keep your chin parallel with the floor and slightly pulled back. Try not to tilt your head forward. This lock will straighten your neck and increase the flow of blood and energy to your brain. This lock also stimulates the function of the thyroid and parathyroid glands.

The great lock - applying all three locks together - creates a pleasant sensation of increased mental and physical energy. The effect of the great lock is enhanced when you roll your eyes up toward the middle of your forehead and focus your energies on your brain's'frontal lobe.

Any questions??