Breathing Techniques Yoga

The cavities in the head

Through the openings in the mouth and nose we take in oxygen or nourishment and we give our comments in the form of respiration and voice out into the environment. With the help of the five senses, whose organs with one exception are all located in the head, we register what the environment has to offer us.

As long as the head/neck area is tense, then also the breathing and speech process, body and soul are unfree and inhibited. Tense jawbone joints, clenched teeth, drawn lips, stiffened neck and tense larynx constrict the mouth and throat cavity; they are the bodily expression of an emotional holding on, restriction and blockage, are hostile towards communication and allow nothing in and nothing out.

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The flow of saliva, which for example we need for digestion, hereby nearly dries up. The mouth becomes dry and we are at a loss for words. The jaw area with the mastication muscles, which are connected on the left and right to the upper jaw, is especially tense with most individuals. In consequence it is not fully mobilised, the lower jaw can not hang down freely in the jawbone joint, so that also the mastication muscles become released and the upper and lower rows of teeth can have a greater space between them This stuck attitude, which can also be understood in a mental/emotional sense, can be released within the scope of a relaxation therapy through pressure on the jaw joints, through mobilisation of the lower jaw, as we experience it during the exercises to stimulate yawning or through conscious release and hanging of the lower jaw. Through this it has often happened that an individual has been freed from nocturnal teeth grinding.

Release of the jaw area at the same time means relaxation of the small facial muscles, which follow the relaxation of both the mastication muscles and which in turn leads to a noticeable relaxation in the area of the gastro intestinal tract.

The relaxation of the tongue is important for the relaxation in the head area and is an essential requirement for allowing complete breathing in the pelvic area. Although the tongue is actually the most movable part of the body, with most people it is cramped and stubborn. This, as Aribert Stampa (21) emphasises, restricts natural breathing, as the gullet and diaphragm hang on the tongue as though on a nail, and through this resistance on the part of the tongue in the tension or inhalation phase the diaphragm is hindered in its downward movement.

The tongue can also be loosened through talking or singing consonants or vowels (see under chapter Exhaling thoroughly). The position of the tongue expresses the bodily and emotional condition, as the case may be, whether it is reared up, withdrawn, touches the upper or lower incisors at the front or rests on the floor of the mouth.

Relaxation of the eyes means the timely economic handling of our energies, as we require roughly 25 % of our energies alone for sight. If the eyes are tired then our entire performance ability is reduced. Relaxation exercises of the eyes not only improve the eyesight due to relaxed eyes having better blood circulation, but they refresh and stimulate us in a holistic way, reducing elevated intra ocular pressure like with glaucoma and its precursors, activating abdominal breathing and stimulating gastro-intestinal activity, as eye and stomach nerves from experience are closely related to each other and strongly influence each other. Relaxation of the eyes therefore also simultaneously acts in a soothing and releasing way on our whole nervous system, as it is not possible to relax the eyes without at the same time relaxing the whole nervous system.

All the following listed exercises to relax the head, face, and neck are also effective with cramps of the head muscles, as with headache, migraine, intra ocular pressure, with all disorders where the cavities of the head are subject to pressure, are impermeable or are inflamed, and furthermore with whole body states of tension and cramps.

As a further measure the displacement of the skin in small circular massage movements with the fingertips on the forehead, the temples, the inside corners of the eyes and on the back of the head and neck areas has a balancing and releasing effect.

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