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ASTHma answers
The Guidelines

Here are a number of practical guidelines that will help your efforts be more successful.
1 Refer to the directions frequently.
2 At first, practice the exercises in order. You may eventually find you prefer a different sequence, and that's fine. (You may also have other exercises that have helped you in the past. Feel free to include them.) But whatever you do, I recommend you start each session with the Deep Relaxation exercise.
3 Don't be too ambitious. Asthmatics are often chronically overstimulated and tend to overdo. Keep things simple. Resist the urge to do more even if you feel you are ready. Wait a few months before increasing your efforts.
4 The exercises work best on an empty stomach, but you should have water to sip during the exercises. It will help keep your airways moist.
5 For optimal results wear warm, loose fitting clothing and practice in a comfortable place where you have room to lie down on the floor. (It is fine to pad the floor with a blanket or two.) In this position, less effort is required for your diaphragm to move well. However, if you are experiencing asthma symptoms, lying down may be uncomfortable. In that case, try sitting on the edge of a chair and leaning forward onto a table. Rest your head on folded arms and turn your head to one side. But you don't need such ideal conditions to practice; I encourage you to do exercises whenever and wherever they come to mind. I often practice while driving.
6 If you feel anxious, nauseous or short of breath while doing the following exercises, STOP. Get up and walk around. You are probably hyperventilating and need to burn off some energy. Don't try to continue your exercises immediately, but come back to them the next day.
7 Remind yourself often - especially if you get frustrated&endash;that the way you breathe now is making you ill; that it's learned behavior; and that it can be changed.
8 Practice the exercises once or twice daily. When you are exhibiting symptoms, Exercises 3 and 4 can be done more frequently.


© 2001 Barbara Benagh