Today I’d like to give instruction on Hara Breathing.
Hara breathing is a form of breathing that was created in Japan. Hara translates to the center of the body or soft belly as it is connotated with breathing and centering.
Hara breathing is for relieving all types of stress from the body, mind and spirit. If you feel weak or overwhelmed, ungrounded, scared, or angry, breathing into the hara will ease these feelings. Breathing into the hara allows you to contact your reservoir of energy, and helps to become and maintain being grounded and centered.
Are you ready to give it a try? Find a space that you like; a space that is peaceful, quiet (relatively), and a place you can be for a few minutes without being interrupted. Make sure the clothes you are wearing are loose fitting particularly around the waist. In Chinese the hara is in the area of the dan tien which is the bottom part of the soft belly and is sometimes called the “Sea of Qi” or the “elixir of life”. You may lie down, sit down or stand up to perform this technique. It may feel more comfortable to either lie down with your knees slightly bent (to take pressure off your lower back). Or to sit in lotus or half lotus position. If you have knee issues adjust as needed. You do not have to stay completely still everytime if it is difficult for you. Now begin with natural breathing, inviting your upper body; your face, cheeks, forehead, eyes, skull bones, jaw, neck, upper and lower shoulders to relax. Now begin with 3 deep cleansing breaths, inhaling slowly through your nose, expanding your abdomen and exhaling slowing through your mouth.
Now, inhale slowly through your nose for a count of 5 (one thousand one, one thousand two, etc). Your tongue is placed at the roof of the mouth near the slope right behind your top teeth. Feel your inhalation all the way down to your hara, in the region located about one inch below the navel. Ad you inhale, your abdomen is expanding and your diaphragm is moving downward. Hold the breath for another 5 counts. As you exhale, remove your tongue naturally from the roof of your mouth as you open your mouth slightly. On the count of 5 slowly, quietly exhale, like a cool breeze. No air should be felt coming out of your mouth (if a mirror was held in front of your mouth there would be no mist created) so calm and quiet is this breath. Continue this exercise without pause between inhalation and exhalation. As you become more adept with this breathing exercise, you may begin to hold the breath longer if it feels good. Increase the count gradually when it feels like time to do so.
Practicing Hara Breathing daily for at least ten to twenty minutes in the morning and evenings will bring noticable change to the way you move through your day. You will immediately notice improvement in your feelings and in your overall mind, body, spirit healthy and wellness. Use this technique when you are facing challenges in your life’s daily activities. Do the practice to feel refreshed if you are feeling taxed or have been in front of people or the computer for long periods.
Remember that you will find clarity in your choices, options, possibilities, and opportunities when you are calmer.
Enjoy your new found breathing technique as it reminds you of the inner light that lives beneath the world at large.