• Janice Hall

Sometimes, we just need to breathe...

‘No one can be successful in the art of meditation without having passed the gate of breathing’ – Thich Nhat Hanh

I often ask the question ‘Have you introduced yourself to your breath? While a strange question, it is one worth asking yourself as breathing is the greatest pleasure in life! 😊

In my last ‘good morning challenge’ post, one of the suggestions touched on relaxing and breathing for a few minutes.

There are so many benefits from taking time out of our busy schedules to breathe and allow ourselves to be still. It is something that I will always encourage.

In this time of lockdown, if you are seeking something new and have never tried breathing in meditation, perhaps you could give it a go. Have you ever considered a daily meditation practice?

Meditation enhances brain activity that is associated with positive emotions. There is a part within us that is essentially untouched and good, our true nature and I like to think that it is this that we tap into when meditating 😊. We may feel a sense of connection and peace that then allows for other magical things like better focus, creativity and innovation.

Life is challenging and we build all sorts of barriers so that we can exist in this tough arena. With meditation, as one of our self-care tools, we can help ourselves to deconstruct these barriers so that we can see things as they truly are.

I recall in my yoga teacher training, if someone asked a question, the instructor would respond with ‘get on your mat’. This response was to any question.

At first, we did not understand but over time through sitting and breathing, we would find the answer ourselves.

‘Get on your mat’ meant ‘you already have the answer’.

This is true.

Sometimes, we need to trust ourselves and breathe and the answers will come.

The powerful benefits of stillness, breathing and meditation:

o Relaxation

o Restoring calm

o Regulate nervous energy

o Improve Focus/ refocus energy

o Releasing stress/ anxiety

o Healing emotions

o Creating space

o Less reactivity

o Enhanced creativity

o Unconditional acceptance

o Allowing things to flow

I like to use the ‘Insight Timer’ meditation app. Others use ‘Headspace’ or ‘Breethe’. You will find meditations on YouTube. You can breathe or meditate to music, guided meditations, nature sounds. Try them all out and find the ones that you like and work best for you.

Reading suggestions:

Just Breathe: Mastering breathwork by Dan Brule

Breathe, you are alive by Thich Nhat Hanh

Total Meditation by Deepak Chopra

😊 An easy breathing meditation to try…

- Find a comfortable quiet place where you can sit and be still

- This is a moment to nourish and replenish the mind and body

- Sit in a comfortable upright posture

- Feet flat on the floor, wriggle your bum in the seat – the earth is holding you now

- Hands flat on the knees to begin with.

- Take a deep inhalation and release the shoulders away from your ears and down your back

- Take one hand and place it on your belly

- Feel your belly rise with each inhalation and release back down with each exhalation

- Breathe each breath as deeply as possible – take your time

- The breath is your anchor, calming you bringing a sense of wellbeing

- To begin with you can stay in stillness for up to 5 minutes and stay longer as you become more rested in meditation.

- To come back to the room, bring awareness to your body and senses. How do you feel, what noises are in the room?

- Take a stretch and continue your day.

‘when you are lost in the sea of your mind, the breath becomes an anchor to return home to shore’

Have a lovely weekend.

Janice Hall

Self-Care & Transformation Coach

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