There are three distinct types of breathing generated in three different parts of the body:
Calvicualr breathing or upper breathing
This breathing is more natural to women not due to the difference in the anatomy but because of the type of clothers they wear and the jobs they do. This ype of breathing raises only the ribs, top of the shoulders and the collar bone. The breath is introduced only in the upper part of the lungs. As this is the smallest part, only a little amount of air reaches the lungs. In the west and now this fashion has made its way to India, women have to do their chores, their habits of sewing, handwork, bridge or typewriting which require them to work in a bad posture. Working in this way 2-3 hours, there cannot be any other way except “upper” breathing.
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When we want to release tension, we prefer to go to a serene, calm and secluded place, a sleepy atmosphere where there is no rush. Noise, high living, the rush on the roads and pollution add to tension. This is what happened to an isolated village, in the Swiss Alps, called Saas, which was a sleepy, calm region. A road was opened and overnight it became a tourist resort, in 1957. By 1970 over 250,000 winter tourists and 500,000 summer tourists were invading this once secluded area.
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Leisure is not for all, it is meant for those who are busy mentally or physically. Take a holiday at least once a year. If there is no money, never mind, borrow, enjoy the holiday and pay later. This is most prevalent in the west among the affluent or economically independent. They do not have to collect huge sums for their house, marriage of their daughters and old age. Children leave their homes early in life as they grow up. They can buy a house or a car immediately as soon as they get a job and pay for it by instalments.
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Do not allow your emotions to get built up. Do not hold grudges. Accuse, abuse or fight if need be. This is an outlet for your stored emotions. Many a time, it is not possible to shout or abuse or raise our voice as we supposedly live in a cultured society. For your own sake, solve your problem one way or another, do not keep it lingering on. Not long ago a patient came to me filled with mental distress. He had not been able to sleep well for years. He was irritable, had a bad tummy upset, and an irritation of the throat and chest.
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When I am tensed, I go for a long morning walk. It is good to walk and walk till the body aches. The mind gets busy with the aching muscles and it forgets its many worries. Many people say that the benefit that they get after exercising is their improved psychological status. They report less anxiety and depression. There is more self confidence and ability to cope with at-home and job related stress.
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Many men and women claim that they are relaxed after sex, physically and mentally. They sleep better after the sex act. Women who work and live together with men folk get their menstrual cycle synchronised.
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Many persons feel relaxed after a visit to the racecourse, or after a long session of bridge, of course, with stakes or after a session of chanting and kirtan. Why is it so? When gambling, you put all of your mind to work on the game. You have thus diverted your mind from your day-to-day worries. A good session of kirtan will make you feel the same. If you participate in a kirtan with a rhythmic, melodious voice and with faith, you will feel relaxed. You will feel as if your mind and body are sinking in Bhakti Rasa (nectar of devotion) and you will come out of it rejuvenated. You will be invigorated and the mind will be cool calm and tranquil.
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Meditation techniques vary but essentially they are all the same because their final objective it to helps to develop and exploit inner awareness. In a way, through meditation, you begin becoming more aware of your body and the outside world. Concentration increases. You are able to think better in whatever type of work you do. You become more efficient, your body healthier. Many experiments on transcendental meditation have been done which have been described “the science of creative intelligence”.
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Salt and the tongue have been in love with each other for centuries. The tongue is so much used to salty taste that to separate the two is to make lives saltless, a proverb commonly used to indicate that all pleasures have departed form life.
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First Method (Corpse Pose)
Think about your feet, move your toes, flex your ankle and slowly let it go, let go all the tension and let your feet feel relaxed and heavy.
The simplest thing to do is to select a quiet place with clean air, free from insects and unpleasant smell. Spread a blanket or sheet on the ground or a wooden plank. Remove the hoes, loosen the belt, remove glasses or have only light clothing. Lie on your back. When you lie on a hard surface, without a pillow, your spine is straight almost touching the floor all through. This is the most relaxed position for the body. If you feel your spine is not touching the floor, bend both knees, see that it touches the floor, stretch your legs ajar. Stretch out both your arms, resting them by your side, forming an angle of 15-20 degrees at the arm pit, feet slightly apart and let them fall outwards evenly, eyes gently closed.
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