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Better Breathing

2010 January 18

One of the things I will do better in this decade is provide vital oxygen to my body. My friend, Madeline Goldstein, a dancer, gave me breathing lessons a couple months ago. My 71 year old mother is dying from lung and brain cancer. It’s a tough way to go. I vowed to learn to breathe after seeing my mom labor and be filled with anguish to do such a “simple” thing.

Madeline gently helped me to see that I didn’t even involve my diaphragm in the process and that is to be the origin of the breath. Huh? Did you learn that growing up? I sure didn’t. Dang! We’re really missing it if we don’t pass on how to breathe to the next generation.

After I had gotten out of an abusive relationship that lasted 20 years, I took a life changing course from Life Skills in Aurora Colorado. One of the first lessons we had was becoming aware of signs of stress in our body and the body of our perpetrator. Most of us stop breathing deeply when under stress and resort to short, ineffective breaths. I did become aware of this pattern in my own body and for a bit changed it. But here I am, 11 years later, and I’m back to the drawing board. ARG!

I saw on someone’s blog the idea of this better breathing exercise. I’m calling it a 4 x 4 but on Twitter calling it #4x4bb because 4×4 brings up a lot of truck talk. Not helpful here.

The idea is to take a Breathing Break 4 times a day. In each break, which we all have time for:
1) Inhale for a count of 10
2) Hold breath for a count of 10
3) Exhale slowly for a count of 10
4) Let the group that will form know where you are in your daily commitment 1:4, 2:4 and so on by Tweeting #4x4bb and following the group with a
TweetDeck column

It’s a simple thing really. The idea was cemented in a conversation with Tina Norlander, co-owner of Norlander’s Original Sauces. I’m honored to be working with Tina and her husband, Michael (@NorlandersFoods), to help spread the word about their yummy gluten free Teriyaki and Mesquite concentrates.

I talked about the need for Tina to get more oxygen to minimize her headaches and help improve her overall health. Her health challenges make many things a challenge. Then I remembered this wise exercise someone shared on her blog. Forgive me for not remembering who you are. Let me know if you read this and it’s you. I know I do better with an accountability buddy so I asked Tina if she wanted to report our progress and encourage each other throughout the day using Twitter. My novice Twitter user friend said yes. When I got back on Twitter she had done her exercises all day and was done with all 4 sets of 4. I’m not usually a slacker so I thought I better get started and let Tina know she isn’t alone.

So, I’m asking you to join us in this simple quest to make our bodies a little happier all day by providing it with more oxygen. I realize this is such a small thing to do for so many of my ultra healthy friends, but many of us will benefit greatly from this small step to better health.

To Us! To Small Steps to Better Health!
(Imagine the sound of clinking wine glasses – red wine of course, because that too is healthy!)

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