Deep breathing opens door to vitality

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Inspiration (breathing) is a vital sign of life.

The deeper and more fully we breathe, the more oxygen is made available to the body and the better we feel.

A wonderful way to relax and unwind is to practice deep breathing. We can relieve stress and fatigue and increase vital energy by the practice of the golden ball breathing technique.

The exercise is very simple and can be done anywhere, any time, at home, at work or even in the car. It can be done standing, sitting, or lying down with your eyes open or closed. Here's how:

Pay attention to your body. Notice those places that are tense. Take a deep cleansing breath and let go of your tension and everything outside of your body.

Focus on a place about two inches below your belly button, in the center of your body just in front of your spine. According to Oriental Medicine this is the place where your vital body energy (chi) is stored. Imagine this place as a bright golden ball, a "sun" of energy.

Imagine a straw or pipe running just in front of your spine up and down from the top of your head to the bottom of your torso in which this golden ball of energy can move.

With a slow, continuous in-breath through your nose imagine the ball moving up the pipe to the top of your head. Fill your lungs completely from the bottom up. Let your abdomen rise like a balloon.

With a slow, steady out-breath through your mouth move the golden ball down the pipe to the bottom of your body. Empty your lungs completely. Your abdomen will contract back to normal as you exhale from the bottom up.

Repeat this slow, deep breathing, moving the golden ball up and down your body for as long as it is comfortable to do so. You will feel calmer, more relaxed and energized after practicing this breathing technique. Also, there are many variations and additional steps to this practice. If you're interested in learning more about them, email me at joykachel@aol.com.

Joy Kachel is spiritual leader at Unity Church of Peace, where she offers Meditation for Inner Harmony classes on Tuesday evenings from 6:30-8 p.m. She is also a master energy healer and teaches healing classes and facilitates a monthly reiki healing circle. You can reach her at the church at 509-520-1915 or personally at 509-529-1048. Go to www.drjoykachel.com for class information and registration.

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