We are living through stressful times. It’s time we elevate our lifestyle to incorporate a foundation of health that will keep us healthy, grounded, and centered in our everyday lives. If we follow this three basic practices, we can come back to center as we navigate through our everyday experiences. If we get triggered, we can come back to center. With a simple daily practice we can bring these into our everyday lives helping to keep us healthy, our immune system ,strong and our spirit resilient. It’s what we need in these times.
The three essential components to staying conscious, mindful and at ease are
Breath Deep, from the Belly
The breath is the Organizing Principle. Proper breathing allows the body to extract Qi (Chi) from the air just as we extract nutrients from food. When we practice mindful breathing we connect the brain and the heart with the kidneys and all the organs can communicate. We feed our life force. Now more than ever, we need to recognize the shift from self-care to essential practice.
A Simple Way to Begin.
- At night before sleep, while resting in bed, place one hand on the belly and one hand on the heart.
- Take a deep cleansing breath and exhale strong. We are ready to begin,
- With your hands still in place, breathe in slowly into the abdomen, feel the belly rise. Inhale to 60% capacity.
- Exhale long and slow. The exhale should be double the length of the in-breath. (Want to know why? In stretching we stretch deeper, we release on the exhale. In Martial Arts we kick or punch on the exhale. The action or the release happens on the exhale.)
As you practice nightly, you allow your body to come into the Parasympathetic state (rest & digest). This was considered self-care prior to 2020 and it is now essential.
You can also watch this Video: Qi Gong Breathing: 7 Minutes to calm body and mind
Welcome, Good Water
Proper Hydration is critical for all of the functions of the body. When dehydrated, the fibers of the muscle look like a dry lake bed. They lose their conductivity. This makes pain feel worse and can hinder or delay recovery. Even if sub-clinical, dehydration can cause muscle pain and tightness. Even if you drink water regularly, you can become dehydrated.
How much should I drink?
Everyone’s hydration’s needs are different. But here is a general idea from what The Mayo Clinic recommends:
Around 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men
Around 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for womenAn easy way to get your water in is to pre-fill your bottles of water for the day and make your way through them. Often we need electrolytes as well so as not to over tax the kidneys. Always be sure to drink clean, purified water without chlorine or fluoride.
Now, more than ever we need adequate sleep. Life is stressful in a macro way, not just a micro way as it used to be. We are all affected by what’s happening in the collective, we need to sleep, to rest and to recharge our body, mind and spirit. Everyone’s sleep needs are different. Some need 8 hours, some need 10 hours. Experiment and see what helps you feel well-rested in the morning.
See what bedtime works best for you. Often climbing into bed by 10pm allows for deeper rest even if reading for 20 minutes. For a good night’s rest, be sure that all cell phones are off and out of the room. Turn off the wifi in your home. Disengage from electronics, news and other stressful events 30min to 1hr before rest. Try some gentle yoga stretching with the lights low, drink some warm decaffeinated tea, practice deep breathing and then rest and repair.
If you’d like support with a breath work daily practice, learning more about hydration or help with better sleep. Call us, we can help.
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