In today’s world, which is characterized by the seemingly-existential presence of a number of stressors that inundate the conscience of each & every individual (albeit to varying degrees), almost everyone requires the aid of a cathartic exercise or two to get by on a daily basis. These ‘exercises’, which may be explored in full through a Spectrum Internet Packages subscription plan, can be either physically-intensive (in that they may require some form of locomotion on part of the performing subject) or mentally-focusing (by requiring the individual to become more self-actualized in the context of his/her immediate surroundings).
Relieving Stress through Meditation
As a lifelong yoga & holistic medicine practitioner, I have come to admire – through my own lived experience – and appreciate the literally (mind/body) transformative potential of simple meditation exercises in alleviating everyday instances of mild to moderate stress.
Psychological/emotional stress, as you may already be aware, is linked with the bodily secretion of the hormones cortisol & adrenaline. Through prolonged episodes of perceived mental stress, these two natural chemicals become more widespread throughout the patient’s blood circulatory system. Through continuous contact with the host’s varied cellular & tissue systems, both of these stress hormones leave the afflicted individual on edge; and in a constant, defensive state of expectant ‘fight or flight’ mental conditioning.
Stress-associated Health Conditions
Stress, as per the research findings of numerous double-blind and placebo controlled studies, has been linked in a positive causal relationship with both heart disease and chronic anxiety. On a basic cellular level, stress hormones cause a rise in bodily inflammation – thereby setting the stage for the gradual attainment of cardiovascular and impaired metabolic conditions like:
- Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
- Progressive Diastolic/Systolic Heart Failure
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Cancers (of all types)
It is my contention that a single session of intense meditation (for at least half-an-hour) on a daily basis can help to substantially reduce the overt signs of the bulk of these ailments; with this assertion being backed up by copious volumes of research conducted on the subject.
In this post, I’ll detail two of the best meditation/centering techniques that I’ve come to be familiarized with over the course of my lengthy professional career (geared, as it still is, towards making the practice of yoga accessible to the masses).
Starting Out with Meditation: Some Key Considerations/Requirements
When starting out with meditation, you should first ensure the availability of certain tangible materials, including:
- A comfortable yoga mat
- A light pair of sneakers
- Some incense (which is optional; particularly if you’re susceptible to migraine headaches or asthmatic attacks brought on by strong fragrances)
- Scented candles (particularly useful for setting a relaxing mood in a darkened room)
- Suitable room for smooth maneuverability (you don’t want your hands and legs to come into contact with anything – other than the ground you’re seated on)
Another important consideration to address when launching your meditation excursions is the presence of any underlying chronic health conditions that you may be suffering from – and whether deep breathing sessions could in some way make their symptoms worse. In such cases, it is highly advisable to keep your G.P in the know regarding your intent to perform yoga or isolated intensive-breathing regimens.
Two Powerful Deep Breathing Techniques You Need to Start Practicing TODAY!
Ok, so now that all the considerations are out of the way, it’s time for me to tell you about two of the most effective deep breathing techniques I’ve come to know thus far – and for you to start acting on them (once you understand them thoroughly).
Meditation, in a nutshell, refers to the simple art of shifting one’s conscious focus inwards. When the practice is complemented with continually-executed deep breathing regimens, it evolves into a more holistically empowering & health-rejuvenating prescription which anyone can take advantage of.
- The Butterfly Flutter
I came across the Butterfly Flutter over ten years ago, during a sojourn down the Tibetan highlands with a monk hailing from a local monastery. Seeking some ancient wisdom to relieve me of my frequent bouts of breathing congestion (as I had despaired of pharmaceutical treatment options completely at that point), the said popular intensive breathing technique became known to me through a spiritual text on ‘self-actualization’ shown to me by the same sage.
Mimicking the fluttering advances of butterflies in spring, this breathing exercise can be easily conducted as follows:
Step 1: Sit cross-legged on your mat for 3 minutes, and try to push all thoughts (other than those of the immediate present) from your mind. Focus on calming your breathing and heart rate, and aligning them in predictable strokes.
Step 2: Take a deep breath over a ten second interval, and hold for five seconds.
Step 3: During the pause, extend your arms fully outwards (parallel to the ground), and flutter them up & down at an approximately 45 degrees angle from the median position at least two times.
Step 4: Exhale completely over an 8 seconds interval.
Step 5: Perform this complete circuit at least ten times during a single meditation session.
- The Priest’s Yawn
The Priest’s Yawn, inspired by a rabbi I once met on the Mount of Olives, entails yawning deeply, and then exhaling in successive bouts of enforced (vigorously ejected) breath exhalations.
Step 1: Sit cross-legged on your yoga mat, and after emptying your lungs of all residual air, take a deep yawn (like you may come across a child doing).
Step 2: Hold your breath once the inhalation-part is complete, and you can’t expand your chest volume any further.
Step 3: Like a firing piston, start exhaling through your nose in 1-second wind ‘shots’
Step 4: Repeat this circuit at least 4 times following the Butterfly Flutter, during your daily meditation sprees.
If you’re interesting in learning more meditation-oriented techniques to supplement your existing knowledge on the subject, consider subscribing to a Spectrum packages subscription plan today – and conducting your online surfing expeditions on this vital health remedy from there.