Naturally we lie down for sleep. This horizontal position benefits the Heart and circulation, allowing all the muscles a chance to fully relax while the body is equally supported. Energetically, lying prone permits the natural forces of Heaven and Earth to realign the body’s energies. This harmonization is basic for deep revitalization during rest or sleep.
Naturally we most often lie down to sleep. There are four choices for position in resting: on the back; on the left or right side; or face down on the stomach. Of these, the worst for health is lying on the stomach. This position actually weakens the stomach and digestion. People who want to lie belly down are typically emotionally upset, afraid, anxious or feeling very vulnerable. This is a primal position, a return to infancy with a need for protection.
In case of a tendency to lie on the stomach, try lying on the back instead. Put heat (a hot water bottle) on the abdomen (below the navel). By warming and focusing attention on this area, breathing will deepen and turbulent emotions can be soothed.
Taxation on the body’s energies comes from excessive lying down which injures the Lungs. With prolonged sleeping, especially with shallow breathing, the lungs will accumulate more and more toxins in the form of CO2 along with other wastes that the lungs expel.
How do you recognize this? If the mind is cloudy, sluggish or confused when you awaken, this is a sign of lung stagnation. It may take many minutes to dispel these sensations. Often excess sleep is not serving our healing or revitalization. Instead it can lead to a sluggish day, physically and / or mentally. Further, it can contribute to other Lung symptoms such as sadness, moodiness, disinterest or loneliness.
The single most important “exercise” to do after awakening is deep exhalation. By breathing out more forcefully than inhaling, you can discharge accumulated CO2 from the Lungs and soon feel energized and mentally sharp. When breathing in, lean backward slightly, spreading out the arms to the sides. As you exhale, in a sitting or standing position, lean forward, breathing out through the mouth. The exhalation should last twice as long as the inhalation. Repeat 8 to 10 times and you will feel refreshed.