Breathe yourself to calm, dear teacher… It is saddening to read about teachers ending their lives. It not only tells us that it is a difficult job. It also reflects that oddly enough, even though a teacher is surrounded by people, the profession can be a lonely one. Let’s breathe and calm down. Then say a prayer.

I already wrote about my thoughts on these suicides earlier. But as last week closed, I saw this third suicide news. All three happening in less than six months interval. There was one from Leyte, earlier this year, around March. Another one from Leyte, the neophyte teacher, Emmylou. And then, here is another from a private school, Ateneo de Naga.

In the light of successive news on teachers committing suicide due to stress related depression, let me share a simple way to regain calm. Simple yoga breathing exercises for calming. Breathe yourself to calm, dear teacher.

This is from the blog La Itinerante.


Here are three breathing exercises you can do on an idle time or downtime to calm you:

1. COUNTING RHYTHMIC BREATHS

a.       You can do this sitting on your chair. Keep the spine straight.

b.      Rest your hands palm up on your knees.

c.       Keep your eyes closed.

d.      To the count of 5 seconds inhale deeply and smoothly, fully inflating the lungs.

e.      Hold your breath 10 seconds with the mind concentrating on the energy in your body.

f.        To the count of 10 seconds, exhale through the nose smoothly.

g.       Repeat 3 times.

**Gradually, you can increase the retention time until you are able to hold it for 20 seconds.


2. ABDOMINAL LIFT

a.       Still, on your chair, with legs apart and heels flat on the floor.

b.      Keep the spine straight.

c.       Lean the body slightly forward.

d.      Press the hands on your inner thighs.

e.      Inhale deeply through the nose.

f.        Exhale vigorously through the mouth in a “HA” sound.

g.       Hold your breath and draw up your diaphragm, pressing it against the rib cage in a way that your abdomen is pulled in and upwards towards the spine.

h.      Hold for 10-20 seconds without breathing.

i.         Relax.

j.        Repeat 3 times.

**Eventually, when the abdominal muscles are stronger, you can practice a pumping movement by pulling the abdominal muscles then thrusting them out. Do this routine about 5-10 times while holding the breath. Repeat 3 times.


3. ALTERNATE BREATHING

a.       Position the right hand with your index and middle finger bent towards the palm.

b.      Place your right hand close to your nose with the thumb near the right nostril.

c.       Press your thumb on the nostril. Inhale.

d.      Breathe through your left nostril.

e.      Press the forth finger on the left nostril and release the thumb.

f.        Breathe through the right nostril this time.

**Position your left arm, palm up and resting on your knee. Fingers forming the “symbol of knowledge” pose.

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