Health is wellness of the body, the mind, and the soul; their alignment with one another is the art of living well.


Wisdom is understanding of the self, others, and the nature of things; it is essential to  living as if everything is a miracle.
                     Breathing Right

Diaphragm breathing

Diaphragm breathing is the complete breath. Consciously change your breathing pattern. Use your diaphragm to breathe.

Always use your diaphragm (the diaphragm muscle separating your chest from your abdomen) to breathe, and not your lungs. Essentially, when your diaphragm goes down, you lungs fill up with air; when your diaphragm goes up, your lungs push the air out, expelling the toxic carbon dioxide. Incomplete breathing (when you use your lungs, instead of the diaphragm, to breathe in and breathe out) leads to accumulation of toxic wastes in the lungs and in other parts of your body organs and tissues. Diaphragm breathing is correct breathing to boost health and wellness of both the body and the mind.

Place one hand on your breastbone, feeling that it is raised, and put the other hand above your waist, feeling your diaphragm muscles moving up and down. Deep breathing with your diaphragm gives you complete breath. This is how you do your diaphragm breathing:

(1) Sit comfortably.

(2) Begin your slow exhalation through your nose.

(3) Contract your abdomen to empty your lungs.

(4) Begin your slow inhalation and simultaneously make your belly bulge out.

(5) Continuing your slow inhalation, now, slightly contract your abdomen and simultaneously lift your chest and hold.

(6) Continue your slow inhalation, and slowly raise your shoulders. This allows the air to enter fully into your lungs to attain the complete breath.

(7) Retain your breath and slightly raise your shoulders for a count of 5.

(8) Very slowly exhale the air. Your upper chest deflates first, and then your abdomen relaxes in.

(9) Repeat the process.

Learn to slowly prolong your breath, especially your exhalation. Relax your chest and diaphragm muscles, so that you can extend your exhalation, making your breathing out slightly longer and complete. To prolong your exhalation, count “one-and-two-and-three” as you breathe in and breathe out. Make sure that they become balanced. Once you have mastered that, then try to make your breathing out a little longer than your breathing in.

Alternate-nostril breathing

Alternate-nostril breathing is a basic Yoga breathing exercise to balance the right side and the left side of your brain. The left side of your brain governs the right side of your body, including your speech and logical thinking, while the right side of your brain governs the left side of your body, including your creativity and intuition. Achieving balance and harmony between the two sides of your brain is critical and crucial to mind healing for deep relaxation. You can balance your mental energy from the right and the left side of the brain just through practicing this alternate-nostril breathing exercise any time during meditation or any mind-relaxation session. This is how you practice alternate-nostril breathing:

(1) Place your thumb and ring finger lightly on your right and your left nostrils, respectively, with your index and middle fingers resting lightly on your forehead between your eyebrows.

(2) Exhale deeply through BOTH nostrils.

(3) Press your thumb against the RIGHT nostril to CLOSE it.

(4) Breathe in through your LEFT nostril. Count 8.

(5) CLOSE your LEFT nostril by pressing down your ring finger. Now, BOTH nostrils are closed.

(6) OPEN your RIGHT nostril, and breathe out. Count 8.

(7) With the LEFT nostril still CLOSED, breathe in through the RIGHT nostril. Count 8.

(8) CLOSE the RIGHT nostril. Now, BOTH nostrils are closed. Retain the air, and count 4.

(9) OPEN the LEFT nostril, and breathe out with the RIGHT nostril still closed. Count 8.

(10) With the RIGHT nostril closed, you have breathed out through the LEFT nostril; you have now completed one round of the breathing exercise.

(11) Begin the second round by breathing in through the LEFT nostril, and repeat the above.

TIPS: Breathing right is consciousness of breath, without which there is no wellness of the body, the mind, and the soul. Breathing right leads to correct posture, and hence the optimum circulation of blood and nutrients to different organs and tissues of the body.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

           How to Clear a Stuffy Nose

To clear a stuffy nose, do the following breathing exercise:

(1) Bring your tongue backward to touch the back of your palate.

(2) Then bring your tongue forward to touch the back of your front teeth.

(3) Repeat the above processes as many times as possible (at least 20 times). The purpose is to warm up the roof of your mouth to loosen what is stuck in your nose.

(4) Meanwhile, breathe deeply by placing your hands on your tummy and your chest, feeling your former moving up and down, while the latter remains still.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau