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Deep Breathing: It's Easy When You Don't Try

Be the Center

Breathing Posture v. Texture

When you breathe with your abdomen, you create a center; when you have a center, you are more confident and coordinated; when you have confidence, you have much more potential and are not afraid of challenges. In effect, you are bringing back the potential that God gave you. You are not afraid anymore.

And this potential can be put to use in many arenas, from music to ballet, calligraphy to equestrian sports, archery to cycling. "Once you learn it, you can apply it to anything," says Zi.

Working with the breath for even brief periods each day can bring a new sense of internal balance, says Dennis Lewis.

"You don't have to work with the breath all the time, day in and day out. He recommends starting out by spending "20 or 30 minutes a day sensing and observing your breath." His Ten Secrets of Authentic Breathing is worth printing out and keeping handy for quick reference.

In her book and video set, Zi takes the student through 24 exercises comprising six lessons. "Give it 30 days and you'll have it," she maintains.

She suggests doing about four exercises per lesson, devoting about 10 minutes to each lesson. Do each exercise three times for three days; then go to Lesson 2 and add the new ones, reviewing previous ones as needed. Even people recovering from surgery or in wheelchairs can adapt these exercises to their needs.

When you can learn to follow the breath to your center, to your core, and open the lotus blossom, "Your thought goes there and you quiet down. Otherwise your mind will be flitting and fluttering. It's a bringing together of the breath, and then you can bring together your thoughts, and everything becomes not that drastically important.

"Your new car, the new dress are not that important anymore when you look into yourself and follow your mind to the center. It's really what meditation is about."

"Many times, however, people try to do it the reverse way: "You try to meditate, and then you breathe better; whereas if you learn to breathe first and then you do everything else, it's much, much easier."

Remember, you are breathing right now. Every day, you have 20,000 opportunities to transform how you breathe and enhance your health and well-being.