Take a Deep Breath


Breathing is such a natural activity that we may think we do it naturally, but many of us don't. How are you breathing right now, i.e., is your abdomen going in or out when you inhale? If it's going in, isn't moving at all, or your breathing is shallow you're breathing incorrectly.

In deep, correct breathing the abdomen and diaphragm expand to allow themselves to be filled with air; they contract in order to push air out. Try this for a moment. You may feel a little light-headed at first because you're becoming filled with oxygen.

Babies breathe this way naturally, but as we grow older we find that shallow breathing reduces feeling. We learn to use this method when we don't want to feel pain, and as wanting not to feel pain becomes a habit so does shallow, incorrect breathing. Not feeling pain, though, doesn't mean that it goes away. What we end up with is emotional congestion in the solar plexus which can produce a variety of physical ailments (asthma, a breathing disorder, is one). We also end up being less able to feel the happy feelings of life.

Just practicing and being conscious of correct breathing is helpful; practicing correct breathing with rhodochrosite is even more useful.

Rhodochrosite, a stone whose color ranges from orange to pink, relates in chakra balancing to the solar plexus area. When it's placed there it helps to release the emotional stresses which inhibit breathing.

Since the solar plexus rests midway between the upper and lower chakras, this stone when placed there helps to balance the energy flow between the upper and lower parts of the body.

When I was learning to drive in New York City my teacher used to take me to practice on the FDR Drive. For those unfamiliar with it this roadway seems to attract many drivers with death wishes (homicide is also not far from their thoughts).

My attention was both on the road and on trying to suppress my terror. My instructor looked over at me and said, "Breath," which was when I realized that I wasn't.

After that, when I was going to a driving lesson I taped a rhodochrosite to my solar plexus. (If you like this idea be sure to use the special tape sold in drugstores which doesn't tear your skin away when you remove it.) It helped me to breathe more deeply, which reduced my anxiety, which in turn made me a better driver.

In meditating, place rhodochrosite on your solar plexus, and be aware of it rising and falling as you breathe. This is both an excellent way to monitor your breath and to keep you from the distracting thoughts which are always waiting to enter our minds when we meditate. Have a mental image of its rich color, and imagine its warm, relaxing energy filling you.

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