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29 July 2009 - 11:38 AM

This is a guest article published on the website owned by Dr Sharma, who is a contributor to our site.:

BreathPlay™ : Developing a User-friendly Body

Betsy Thomason, RRT

Every human being lives from one breath to the next. If you don't breathe, you are not living. If you hold your breath, you are not living well. If you never pay attention to your breathing, you are missing the many benefits of effective breathing. So how do you breathe effectively?

This article is about BreathPlay™, a breathing method that actually redefines breathing and helps you to honor your body and make it user-friendly. The result is harmony between conscious mind and body.

BreathPlay is focused breathing with the emphasis on an active, spine-stretching outbreath and a passive, relaxing inbreath. This cycle of outbreath and inbreath is just the opposite of what is considered 'normal' breathing. BreathPlay challenges the age-old assumption that breathing is an in-out process. The BreathPlay out-in focus is based on the ancient esoteric wisdom from yoga and martial-arts masters. By using this out-in orientation, BreathPlayers efficiently expand their physical and mental abilities.

BreathPlay is inherently fun-that's why it's called BreathPlay not breath work. Ian Jackson, who began developing this breathing system in the 1960s, understood that learning anything is easier if it peaks the imagination. Thus, BreathPlay incorporates many images, like the bellows, that explain the out-in breathing process. BreathPlay invites you to develop your own images that propel you along the learning path. Ultimately, BreathPlay helps you access your core muscles and your core identity. From this, your own wonderful self-expression emerges.

BreathPlay teaches you a new way of looking at life- at your life-the only one that matters. You are learning a new way to focus on releasing carbon dioxide into your surrounding environment and letting life-giving oxygen enter your internal environment. This is the simplicity of BreathPlay. As you practice and get in touch with your body rhythms and messages which you access by letting nature's vacuum work, you will experience the rich complexity of BreathPlay.

Contract your belly muscles to push air out of your body through slightly pursed lips, as if you are a gentle breeze. Then, release the belly muscles to let the universe refill your lungs. You've already started learning BreathPlay!

To actually learn BreathPlay in your muscles, practice three times a day, for three to five minutes or more. Find a quiet place with no television, no radio-no distractions. It might be when you wake up in the morning, or when lying in bed falling asleep, and then one other time, sitting in a straight-backed chair--perhaps before a meal.

With this quiet BreathPlay practice, you will become deeply acquainted with your body. Experience the ebb and flow of your breath. Feel the movement of your spine against the mattress or the back of the chair during the outbreath. Be with your body. Be in praise of your body-that is, be nonjudgmental. Enjoy what you are accomplishing. You are preparing your body to BreathPlay with movement.

For a free ½ hour BreathPlay audio lesson go to www.fitnessoutdoors.com. Ian Jackson's web site is www.breathplay.com.


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