Contortion & Flexibility: Contortion Training In A Circus School
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Proper Breathing For Contortion:
Basic Instructions For The Breathing Exercises
Find a quiet place where you won't be distracted. If doing the exercises inside, make sure the window is open to allow plenty of fresh air into the room.
Sit on a chair or if you prefer, cross-legged on the floor. Sit straight. Unless your spine is erect, some of the benefits of the breathing exercises will be lost. Don't sit straight and relaxed.
Breathe deeply and slowly, without strain. Breathe smoothly and quietly.
You should do the exercises on an empty stomach. Wait at least three hours after a heavy meal, and about one and a half hours after a light snack, such as fruit. This is for two reasons. Firstly, a heavy meal will reduce your concentration. Secondly, food in the stomach causes some of your blood and oxygen supply to be diverted to the stomach for digestion. This will reduce the blood and oxygen available for directing to the brain while you are doing the breathing exercises.
To gain maximum benefit, do the exercises twice a day, in the early morning before breakfast, and in the early evening. It's best not to eat for about fifteen minutes after the exercises.
While doing deep breathing the spine should be kept straight, so as not to impair the free flow of the life-force, or prana. This also helps to develop correct posture. The yogis attach such great importance to correct posture that they have devised several different positions for their various advanced breathing practices as well as for meditation and concentration. One very popular pose for deep breathing is lotus posture or cross legged posture.
When you sit down on the floor with your legs crossed, visualize a stream running through you in a straight line, starting at the top of your head and continuing into the ground. Imagine, too, that this is the axis around which your body has been molded. This will help you learn to sit up straight without being stiff and tense. You should, in fact, feel comfortable and relaxed as you sit this way.
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