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On the Breath

To speak, sing or pray, on the Breath, means to concentrate on the breath while using one's vocal cords. It is quite important not only to pay attention to inhalation but to also consider exhalation; in fact more so, as in daily exhalation we more readily relax and that relaxation, to be of value, must be positive relaxation, in other words, be conscious of the fact that though relaxing we are positive as to position and bearing of the body. We tighten the muscles and yet retain one's poise and ease. We relax muscles and still remain the governing factor, directing them at will. Owing to the many demands made upon us we only too frequently tense without being conscious of it. As the strain grows upon us we grow tired and nervous. To avoid tension and prevent nervous strain we should remind ourselves of the necessity of exhaling to utmost every two hours at least. It is not necessary that we sit down; we can take a thorough exhalation exercise in whichever position we happen to be in. The main thing is to be conscious of a military attitude: Chest up and out, abdomen drawn in, with muscles raised toward the solar plexus; head erect, chin up and eyes steady. Now empty the lungs as much as thirty, then for forty and more seconds. Do not force; do not tense. The more you exhale the more you are to relax. Put your mind upon the muscular parts of the body, internally as well as externally. To whisper an aphorism or a prayer, the strophe of a song or reciting some inspiring sayings, it will aid us greatly in concentration and help in positive relaxation.

Exhaling to the fullest extent of one's capacity strengthens the organic muscles, tempers the sinews and invigorates the ligaments. Do all your work with consciousness of the power of breath.

When taking a walk, especially mornings, make it a habit to time your exhalations. But whatever you do, remember never to force as all forcing means tension and every tension enervates.

Upon retiring at night, be sure to time your exhalation and follow the current of breath, dismissing all else from your mind. Allow no suggestion to enter your thoughts. Keep your mind upon exhalation. Do it now. Do it night upon night and note the improvement in health of body and power of mind.

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