Conscious Breathing draws on more than twenty years of research and practice to present a simple yet comprehensive program that can be used every day to improve energy, mental clarity, and physical health. As the essential life-force of the body, the breath influences how we feel on every level. But many traditional breathing programs are limited by esoteric or cultlike elements. Pioneering therapist Gay Hendricks has refined the most important practices into a mainstream healing tool that can provide dramatic benefits--ranging from lowered blood pressure and pain reduction to elimination of depression and anxiety--in as little as ten minutes a day. At the core of the book are eight key breathing exercises, fully illustrated, with step-by-step instructions, plus the "short form" ten-minute breathing program. Additional chapters provide breathing techniques for special concerns, including: Breathing to aid in trauma release and recovery from addictions. Treatment of asthma and other respiratory problems. Enhancement of sex and communication between couples. Improved concentration and stamina in sports.
``In your lifetime you will breathe in and out more than a hundred million times.... What if you made a tiny improvement in something you did that many times?'' So queries Hendricks, a professor of counseling at the University of Colorado and author of Conscious Loving, at the start of this quietly assured guide. His guided breathing exercises, most done lying down and in combination with gentle movements, are designed to free the movement of the diaphragm, increase oxygenation and relax the body. Benefits can include stress reduction, pain management, improved health and spiritual growth. In his discussion of the anatomy of breathing, Hendricks errs in saying there are two lobes in each human lung (the right lung has three lobes), but this handsome handbook, appealingly illustrated and laced with aphorisms about breathing from sports heroes, poets and philosophers, offers much of value to those just fostering awarenes of breathing to such advanced practitioners as singers and athletes.