Breathing. It’s pretty much automatic.
Without much thought – day by day.
You breathe in. You breathe out. You carry on.
But, have you ever noticed what happens when you stop breathing?
I don’t mean a full stop where you pass out from lack of oxygen, or even those moments when you’re feeling anxious and you forget to breathe. I’m referring to the stop that is a natural part of breathing.
You see there are four parts to your breath. Inhale. Pause. Exhale. Pause. Together they form a sort of rhythm.
When you work with the natural rhythms of your breath, inhale, pause, exhale, pause. Something magical happens.
In today’s post I’ll show you how to use the natural rhythm of your breath to find serenity in about 60 seconds. You can use this on a regular basis to conquer those moments of stress, frustration, fatigue and overwhelm so you can ‘carry on’ in peachy bliss. (Mmmmm peaches…)
First some breathing guidelines…
When working with your breath please remember- KISSES.
Keep It Simple, Sensible, Easy + Simple.
-Always remember that working with our breath should be gentle and easy, never forced.
-If at any point it feels too complicated, you feel out of breath, or you just feel like your done doing the exercise, stop and return to normal breathing.
-Don’t hold your breath or close off your throat on the pauses. Keep your throat open as if you were still allowing your breath to move in or out.
-The most important thing is to respect where you are, take your time with it, and keep your breath easy and flowing.
Make sense? Perfect!
Now let’s play with this…
-Start by finding a comfortable position either seated, or lying down. Notice how you feel right now (stressed, tired, agitated, whatever it is for you- make a mental note).
-Bring your awareness to your breath and notice your inhale and exhale. Inhale- feel your breath come in and down (chest lifts and ribs expand, solar plexus expands, belly protrudes). Exhale- feel your breath go out and up as you gently pull your belly in towards your spine (progressively from the pubic bone to naval, naval to solar plexus). Repeat this for 4 breaths getting a feel for the flow of your inhale and exhale.
-Now begin to notice the natural pauses after inhale and exhale. Inhale – pause. Exhale – Pause. Repeat this for 4 breaths getting a feel for the natural pauses in your breath.
-Next allow the pauses to lengthen by inviting them to hang out just a little bit longer. Inhale – let the pause hang a little bit. Exhale – let the pause hang a little bit. Repeat for 4 breaths noticing your breath flowing in and out, and also noticing the pauses.
-When you finish release your breath and let it be relaxed and natural. Then take a moment and observe how you feel. Do you notice a shift in how you feel now, from how you felt when you began.
Practice this technique once a day for a period of time and it will become very easy for you to do. Once it becomes as easy for you as, well… breathing! It will take you about a minute to complete six breaths- inhale, pause, exhale, pause. You can call on it anytime, anywhere and find serenity in 60 seconds.
How did it go?
Did you notice a shift? Go ahead and share what you noticed in the comments below.
P.S. Want to learn more about this breathing stuff ? Check out Just Keep Breathing – The (Surprisingly Simple) Foundations of Yoga. Learn more and join in the fun right here.