(Quick note: There is an accompany breathing audio to help you through this exercise at the end of this blog. Scroll to the bottom and click play)
Relax? Now? Really I don’t have time for that? Sound familiar?
It’s the holiday season, I have too much to do. There is so much going in. Now isn’t the best time. After the new year when things slow down, I will do some things for myself. Oh the best made plans just keep getting put off. Our busy lives seem to keep us waiting for the perfect time to relax; to take care of our Self yet that perfect time never quite comes. Something always gets in the way and we are on hold caught in the waiting game. We want to feel more relaxed and we might even have an idea of what we should do but there’s never time.
Well, the time is now; let’s try something. Are you willing? Let’s call it an experiment. We will give it a try and see what happens.
Before we begin allow your mind to take this in. This will not take any extra time in your day and it doesn’t require any thought. You can do this experiment anywhere and you can make it fun.
Our experiment requires breathing. Just breathing but not the regular, involuntary shallow breathing you’re used to.
Let us take a nice long, slow deep breath in filling the belly all the way up through your chest and upper lungs . . . . And exhale feeling the breath releasing with ease from your body. Another long, slow deep breath in . . . And exhale. Take a few more as you feel comfortable. Each intentional complete breath interrupts our overstimulated nervous system and allows for a little relaxation to enter into our body, our minds, our emotions, our whole being. (Reminder: There is an audio at the end of this blog post to help you through the breathing exercise)
Health benefits of deep breathing
The act of breathing deeply and intentionally has amazing physiologic effects on our body and is a way to truly connect with our Self. The Breath is such an important part of yoga, meditation, of every aspect of life. Without our breath, well we wouldn’t be here. Most of us have been breathing in a very shallow manner. We do not even notice since we breathe involuntarily, yet when we breathe voluntarily, deeply, intentionally we can open the doorway to connecting to our bodies and our internal environment. The discussion about breathing and its importance may be familiar to you. But please keep reading.
The Power of your first breath and your last breath
Our very first breath engages us with our body and the world when we are born. We take our last breath as we leave our body and this life. So, the Breath is powerful, full of so much more than oxygen and carbon dioxide. It contains our life force, healing qualities and the potential to bring balance and peace inside of us; one breath at a time. Give your intentional breath the opportunity to truly support you. As you breathe in, really receive it. Take in your deep breath and notice how you feel after the exhalation. How is your body feeling after the breath? What do you notice after you breathe a few times? What happens to the busyness in your thoughts?
This is your experiment but please try it a few times a day for a few days in a row before coming to any conclusions. Try breathing through your nose and through your mouth noticing what feels good to you. Breathe intentionally as often as you remember, at home, in your car and before you respond in uncomfortable situations. Allow your breath to create a pause, to slow things down and allow relaxation to enter into your everyday life. Practice breathing frequently so that you naturally breathe deeper. When I was learning the power of my breath I set reminders in my phone and I used red lights as a time to breathe when I was driving my car. This allowed be to remember frequently and everyday.
Breathing with intention ignites a connection with the most important person in your life . . . YOU!