A while back, I spoke about what I called “the OD Factor.” OD can mean “OverDoit” “OverDose” or even “OverlyDone”. Basically, it means not to take anything too far or go overboard with any information that is given to you. While I was walking during lunch, I realized a couple of things that I need to tell you in regards to breathing. It’s easy for people to learn new information, get excited and then do it so much or without proper instruction, that they hurt themselves. Breathing is too important of a process to get it wrong…it’s one thing to experiment on yourself when you have proper awareness but as a beginner with no real awareness, it’s a no no.
- Like anything, mastering takes time. There is no way you can get proper posture or breathing without taking time to make sure you get it right. This is why, in addition to giving you tips, I also give you ways to achieve these goals with professional assistance. When it comes to health, I do not follow the “no pain, no gain” philosophy. That may work if you’re in a gym, competing with yourself or the person next to you or in a contest but lifestyle changes do not work that way. Now don’t get me wrong, you may have discomfort and you may have pain in an effort to become a healthier person. What I don’t want you to think is that if you do feel discomfort or pain, that you should keep on going. NO WAY! This is especially true with breathing. If you are trying to do something and you feel discomfort and pain, stop it immediately and breathe the way you are used to. After a while, then you can try it again. Baby steps are important.
- When I was walking down the street for lunch, I breathed through my nose and noticed mucus forming. Some of it started to drip. If your nose drips when you’re breathing through your nose, then clean it up. Wipe the outside of your nostrils with your hands but do not blow it out. If you want to clean out the inside of your nose, use a tissue. If the nasal drip goes the other way, you should spit it out or swallow it (hey, sometimes it travels that fast LOL). Do not get frustrated or upset that you got plenty of mucus or that you couldn’t spit or swallow in time. Even if you do blow your nose in the cold and you feel the effects, don’t get upset and deterred. That is your mind trying to stop you from being healthy. More on that in a second.
- In later posts, I’m going to talk about different methods of breathing and certain techniques that help you to breathe with great effect. Like I said in the #1, breathing properly is tricky and learning how to do it can be dangerous. For instance, in Tai Chi (one of the methods used to attain proper breathing) there is a technique called “turning the wheel”. I’m not going to explain how this works but if you were to read up on it, there would be a disclaimer of sorts saying “do not attempt to practice this technique unless under the guidance of a skilled master/teacher. Doing this on your own can cause kidney problems and even kidney failure.” Although I am adept in breathing and can breathe from the lowest parts of my womb, I do not consciously do this technique. Even if I realize that I am doing it, I stop and return to my normal breath.
- In #2, I spoke about the mind trying to stop you from being healthy. It’s not the mind’s intention to stop you from being healthy. The mind gets really comfortable with what is going on so when change comes, it will fight by bringing out certain emotions like anger, frustration, and fear so that you stop what you’re doing and continue on the path that it’s used to. This is where the mind-body disconnect comes in. Your body knows what it needs to do to heal and cleanse you and make you healthy. However, your mind has different ideas because of everyday stress. As all this stress makes your body go into “emergency” mode, it gives control to the mind…leading you to where you are today. Awareness is allowing your body to take control of those things that it has to control – your physical health. Your body has no problems telling you that you should stop doing something or you need something but it’s often your mind that puts those requests to the side, taking control. To create a good mind-body connection, you have to be able to let go. Sometimes relinquishing control is the only way to get something under control. You may not get that right now…but stick with me and you will, ok?
Stay strong. Stay up. Talk to you sooner than later.