Take a Deep Breath

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     “To breathe properly is to live properly,” say the old yogi philosopher.  Breath is the stuff of which voice is made,”  says the voice expert.  The posture expert’s first command is to fill your lungs.  The honest beauty spealists admits that increased circulation brought about by good breathing will do more for your complexion than a lifetime of massage.  The psychoanalyst will tell you that an inferiority complex may spring from something as simple as scant breath.  As for the doctor, his business is to keep you breathing, from the time he thumps you on the back to get you going until he he produces the oxygen to keep you from stoppng.  Most of us take in enough to sustain life but not enough to live it vigorously.  We are like a car chugging along on only half its cylinders.  If some of us actually filled our lungs with a great blast of air, we would have an oxygen jag, a lightheaded feeling.  If you don’t believe it try it sometime. 

     We are so accustomed to using only the tops of our lungs that we get the idea they end at the bust line.  But they don’t.  On either side of the ribs they extend down to the waistline.  Unless you constantly make use of this important lower-lung section in your breathing, you are a poor risk for the insurance company and a flop in the beauty contest.  The radio announcer knows the value of deep breathing.. Go into any braodcasting studio and see the announcer before his mike, waiting to be flashed on the air, one eye on the clock.  The back of his coat is rising and falling.  He is tuning up his instrument.

     The psychoanalyst says it is quite possible to control your mood by your breathing.  If you are nervous, angry-breathe deeply.  The calming effect is a miracle.

     Deep breathing is the actor’s first aid against stage fright.  Even a seasoned star could never face a first-night audience without screwing up her courage by a few deep breaths. It is very important to be aware of the importance of breath.  Learning to breath will produce power and poise. 

     Many people stand badly because they breathe badly.  When chests are concave and torsos slump, the first point of attack is the breath.  Properly inflated lungs right the body just as proper ballast rights the ship.

     Now if you’re curious as to whether or not you breathe correctly, unbuckle your belt and slip it up a few inches, halfway between waistline and bust line.  Exhale and pull your belt in as tight as you can.  Now take a whopper of a breath and see how many notches you can expand.  It is here that chest expansion shoud be measured,

     Don’t try to expand by swelling out in front.  Expansion should come not only in front but across the back and sides.  To see how much rear expansion you get, put your hands at the small of your back, thumbs forward, middle finger touching behind.  Give your self a tight squeeze, exhaling as much as you can.  Then inhale and see how far you can force your hands apart.  Your ribs are a flexible cage that protects your lungs.  As your lungs expand, the bony cage should expand all around.

“Ordinary breathing should be unconscious,” “But deep-breathing exercises should be employed every day.  People who are shut in all day may partly compensate for the evils of indoor living by stepping out of doors and taking a dozen deep breaths whenever the opportunity presents itself.”

     Without the help of your diaphragm you can never breathe as you should.  The diaphragm is the floor of the chest-a dome-shaped muscle, with the dome inverted.  As we inhale, the dome drops downward, increasing the chest cavity for the air to rush in.  As we exhale, the dome flattens upward, forcing the air out.  Without the help of this improtant muscle you cannot make a sound.  You cannot pant, sigh, cough, grunt or clear your throat.  A man’s diaphragm is placed lower than a woman’s whcih gives his chest more room; and his active habits of life have made this muscle stronger.  Women are apt to neglect their diaphragms.

     Happily, nature taught us how to use the diaphragm.  Infants breathe correctly; so do sleeping persons.  When we grow up or wake up we allow inhibitions to restrict free diaphragmatic action. A good way to re-educate your diaphragm is to lie flat on your back,discard care and let the great muscle work naturally..  If you do this until it becames a habit you will breathe this way on your feet.

     The only purpose of breathing is to get ozygen into our systems, for without oxygen we should quickly die.  Every vital process in the body is dependent on oxygen for its performance.  The more oxygen you have, the brighter will be your color, the more pep you will have;the smarter you’ll be.

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