Monthly Archives January 2018

Exercise in the young

I hated sports at school … really hated it. Cold showers, the overpowering smell of sweat and feet, hopeless at the sports they offered, last to be picked for any team. I always thought that final humiliation was because I was rubbish but I now realise that any confidence I might have had was knocked out of me, and because as an August child I was the youngest in my year. It took me years to discover the delights of exercising the body – not with rugby, cricket and athletics which is all my school offered – but with things
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The Transformative Power of Slow, Deep Breathing

  One common feature of traditional practices such as yoga, tai chi, qigong etc. is their emphasis on slow, deep, lower abdominal breathing, with extraordinary claims made about its powerful effects. For example Yuan Hao in 15th century China simply said, “A day and a night of regulated breathing can [reverse] twenty years of chronic illness.” What is special about breathing is that (like the heartbeat or digestion) it is an autonomic function – in other words we can spend the entire day quite unaware of our breath which carries on perfectly well without our attention. But unlike the heart
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