Our staff is taking time right now to share reviews of some of the books, movies, and music they’re enjoying during their time at home. The views are uniquely their own. Be sure to tell us what you think!
Practical Centering by Larkin Barnett is a book that teaches different breathing techniques, visualization, and movements to connect body and mind. The idea is that you release tension and blockage in the body while activating one of the seven different chakras in the body. The book explains that in stressful moments we tend to focus on the stress instead of how our bodies are reacting to the stress; it asks you to recall a stressful event, what you were thinking during the event, and what was the consequence.
Then it goes on to explain that we tend to breathe very shallowly, especially during times of stress, and if we train ourselves to breath deeply intentionally not only in times of stress but make a practiced meditation out of it, it can become of form of cellular healing particularly in concert with the self-massage techniques illustrated in the book.
The book outlines different breathing techniques such as the deep relaxation diaphragmatic breathing and the dynamic core control breathing, and invites the reader to jump around in the book to find the best techniques that work for them in releasing tension and encourages relaxation.
The seven different chakras are explained in brief detail on recipe cards in the book. The recipe cards identify the chakras name, the color that they want you to visualize when focusing on that particular chakra, the location of the chakra on the body, what the chakra represents or the “life lesson”, the keyword of the chakra, the element, the sense, and gland associated with that chakra, the feelings or emotions, and maybe the most helpful when unblocking that chakra, the affirmation that you can use while concentrating on that chakra.
Before each exercise, the book identifies which chakra you are concentrating on; so again the location and color associated with the chakra because the visualization part is important in the process, and the position and movement of the body. After they give the run through of all the chakras exercise, they run through different breathing techniques that can be used with the exercises, so the horizontal balloon breathing, the sagittal balloon breathing, and the three-dimensional balloon breathing. The book ends with simple, relaxing, yoga techniques to unzip, strengthen, and stretch your body.
This book was not overwhelming and was a very easy to follow instructional outline for people that want a simple explanation of how to intentionally breathe. Since breathing is part of the autonomic nervous system, it isn’t something that most people stop to think about. Intentional breathing can have so many benefits beyond unconscious ventilation of oxygen.