Spring Clean Your Cells

What’s the first thing you do when you step outside on a beautiful spring morning?

Why take a deep breath and smile, of course. The soft fragrant air encourages you to blow out the winter blahs and recharge in the spring sunshine.

The lungs are a major detoxification organ. Taking a deep breath benefits your lungs and your whole body.

Every time you exhale, you breathe out CO2 and other metabolic byproducts. When you inhale, you nourish your lungs and all the cells in your body with life-supporting oxygen.

You detox and nourish every time you breathe.

Often, however, we breathe too shallowly to get the full benefit.

For a good spring cleaning, deep yogic breaths are the way to go.

Start by sitting comfortably with your spine straight and your hands on your belly.

As you inhale through your nose, push your tummy out. You will feel your hands move forward as your stomach expands. This expansion contracts the diaphragm which expands the lower portion of your lungs, pulling in more air. Inhale for a slow count of four, letting your shoulders rise to allow in the most possible air.

Next, hold your breath with your stomach still sticking out for a count of two.

Now, start a leisurely exhale. Lower your shoulders gently, contract your abdominal muscles, feel your hands move in toward your spine. Push the air out your nose for a steady count of eight. (You can do a count of six if eight feels too long.)

When you’ve finished the exhale, hold the emptiness for a count of two. Let yourself feel the contraction of your stomach and the empty tension in your chest.

Then slowly start to inhale, starting the cycle again. Start with five breaths. Work your way up to ten.

(If you feel dizzy, change your breathing to normal and rest a few minutes before resuming.)

This gentle cleansing breath is a great way to release the stresses of the day. It might become a welcome part of your daily routine.

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