Breathe – Like Your Life Depends on it!

Breathe – Like Your Life Depends on it!

We all have one thing in common. We breathe an average of 23,400 times per day. But when was the last time you really paid attention to your breath? Most of us take breathing for granted and underestimate its ability to heal us on numerous levels.

I recently adopted a breathing practice called Pranayama. While I have certainly done various forms of breath work in the past, nothing has been as transformative as this! Thanks to a friend who dragged me along to a class, I was hooked immediately. From my very first session, I noticed an intense shift in my emotional and spiritual world. So much so that I have committed to doing it daily and am now sharing it with clients and friends.

Pranayama breath comes from the Yoga tradition and the version I enjoy is simply breathing in through the mouth, into the diaphragm and then the chest and out again through the mouth. It is done in a rhythmic motion of three breaths. Into the diaphragm, into the chest and out through the mouth.

At first, it feels like hard work. Often people feel lightheaded or tingly especially in the hands and arms along with experiencing restriction or mild pain in certain areas of their body. But after a while your breathing takes on a mind of its own. You begin to relax more deeply and many people disappear into a deep meditative state.

What I love about this breathing technique is that it combines both an active participation along with a surrendered relaxation which is great for those people who have a challenge sitting still in a regular meditation practice.

Lie down and get comfortable, light a candle, use essential oils and choose your favorite music. Begin with 5-10 minutes per day and work your way up to a 30 to 40-minute practice which combines 20-30 minutes of deep, powerful breathing followed by slower nostril breaths for approximately 10 minutes.

This practice will often bring up intense emotions. It will help rid your body of physical blocks along with emotional and spiritual ones too. It’s not uncommon to have bursts of crying, laughter, or anger during your sessions which are all signs of releasing toxic or stored up emotions that we hold onto without even realizing. I have also felt the energy points in my body known as chakras spinning, throbbing, and opening. I often find myself sweating, extremely hungry, and filled with an overwhelming joy and sense of gratitude afterwards. It is like nothing I’ve experienced before.

Breathing techniques like this have been used for people in recovery from alcohol and drugs as well as for those dealing with illness such as cancer.

Here are just a few of the numerous benefits of doing Pranayama breathing:

  • Oxygen – Feeding our cells oxygen is vital to creating a healthy body. Oxygen assists our system in detoxing and fighting off potential cancer cells. It also creates a more alkaline environment off-setting acidity which has been linked to numerous illnesses.
  • Reduced Stress, Anxiety and Depression – Studies have shown that those who participate in regular breathing sessions have a lower incidence of anxiety and depression along with experiencing less reaction to stressful situations.
  • Lower/Stabilized Blood Pressure – Increased oxygen lowers blood pressure and may even lower blood sugar levels as well.
  • Increased Energy Levels – Often people report an increase in overall physical stamina after participating in an extended breath session. Once again, oxygen feeds our cells and in turn, creates ATP which is essential for energy.
  • Muscle Relaxation – More oxygen means more blood flow to our muscles which assists in a quicker recovery and often a speedier healing time for those dealing with injury, post-surgery, or for athletes with lactic acid buildup.
  • Emotional Healing – A regular breath work practice can literally unblock stored up emotions, fears, and traumas from our body often leaving us feeling euphoric.
  • Spiritual Healing – Yogis have known for thousands of years that regular deep breathing can literally open up blocked chakras or energy points within our body helping us to live with more balance, joy, and freedom.

If you’ve been struggling to find a regular spiritual practice and you’ve tried numerous things that don’t resonate, I highly recommend that you explore Pranayama breathing.

To get started, research local breathing classes in your area. Sometimes joining a group can make it more enjoyable. Find a skilled teacher along with a powerful soundtrack, and you too can have a life-changing experience.

I can’t emphasize enough just how powerful this practice can be. Breathe like your life depends on it because in all honesty, it does!

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

 

7 Chakras – Are You Living in Love or Fear?

7 Chakras – Are You Living in Love or Fear?

In Eastern philosophies we hear a lot about the chakras, which are the 7 main energy points within our spiritual body. Today more than ever, we are learning that unless we create balance between our emotional, spiritual and physical life problems often occur.

The belief is that if we are releasing energy in love and faith through these spiritual points, we are living a balanced life that flows more effortlessly. If however, we release in fear or doubt, our Chakras can become stagnated leading way to physical symptoms within our body that are directly related to this blockage.

Whether or not you believe in such a theory, I know for fact that it’s true. In my wellness practice and as a Reiki Master, I often incorporate the Japanese-based Reiki energy work on my clients and have seen over and over again that there is a direct correlation between their physical pain and a chakra that is out of alignment.

Here is a list of the 7 Chakras and their corresponding area of the body along with their associated color.

Based on health challenges you may be experiencing this can lead to clues where your chakras may need a little dusting off and clearing. It is often as simple as placing hands onto these points and focusing energy into that specific area of your body. You can also book a Reiki healer or another hands-on healing technique.

First Chakra/ROOT/Color Red – This Chakra grounds us to the earth and often deals with how well we feel supported by life. Imbalances may include knee pain, prostate and rectum issues, sciatica, eating disorders, immune challenges, and foot and leg pain.

Second Chakra/SACRAL/Color Orange – This Chakra deals with our sexuality and creativity. Blockages may cause low back, hip and pelvic pain, kidney, reproductive and urinary problems.

Third Chakra/SOLAR PLEXUS/Color Yellow – This is the Chakra representing self-worth and self-esteem. When out of balance it may cause indigestion and issues with pancreas, liver and gallbladder, stomach ulcers, Diabetes and high blood pressure.

Fourth Chakra/HEART/Color Green – This energy point correlates with the freedom we have to both give and receive love. When stagnated, it can create imbalances in the heart area including palpitations and heart disease, lung issues such as asthma, shoulder and upper back issues, along with arm pain.

Fifth Chakra/THROAT/Color Blue – When we aren’t clearly speaking our truths, our throat Chakra can become blocked possibly leading to thyroid issues, ear infections, TMJ, sore throat, neck and shoulder pain.

Six Chakra/THIRD EYE/Color Indigo – This Chakra relates to our intuition and psychic vision. Imbalances may include headaches, hearing impairment, blurred vision, hormone issues, and sinus infections.

Seventh Chakra/CROWN/Color Violet – Our crown Chakra connects us to the spiritual and Universal energy. When disconnected or clogged we may become depressed and/or anxious and have an extreme sensitivity to environmental toxins, light and sound.

Often just making the conscious connection between your fearful and negative thoughts and emotions released from these specific areas of the body is all you need to begin bringing healing and balance.

I’d recommend researching specific meditations to open these Chakras along with healing minerals and stones that correlate with each energy point too. Also, focus on the specific colors that each Chakra represents during meditation, along with receiving some healing energy work. Lastly, find a local Kundalini yoga class in your neighborhood, which focuses on opening the Chakras through various poses, chants, and breath work.

Learn to focus more on living in love and joy rather than fear and doubt. Catch the nagging and negative feelings immediately and begin turning them around. Listen to your body and start noticing any tension that you may be holding in specific areas.

We can most definitely make the subtle, yet powerful shift towards more balance, enlightenment, improved health and happiness. We all deserve that!

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!