Take a Breath Break
Take a moment, wherever you are, whatever you are doing. Pause. Think about how you are breathing. How your posture is and if it is affecting your breath. I don’t need you to breathe more, just be honest and observe your breath and how you are feeling. It may be strange at first to sense the nuances of the breath, but the more we practice taking a breath break, this simple check-in will start to illuminate the state of our well-being. When we are stressed we breathe shallowly and only give ourselves little gulps of air. Imagine; however, if when we are stressed, if instead, we could breathe into the sensation. Ride the wave of stressful sensations with the breath instead of restricting as we naturally do.
How we Breathe is the Key
If you felt like you were breathing short, shallow, into your upper chest then welcome. The majority of us are breathing this way day in, day out unless we are doing something that requires us to breathe deeply. During FitSphere, I am constantly queuing the breath. Not only to fuel the movements so we can perform to our greatest capacity but because our energy process is in our breath.
Read The Truth About Weight Loss if you want to know more.
Why Should we Breathe Deeply?
On a physiological level, nose breathing is designed to filter and receive oxygen deep into our lungs. My top benefits of nose breathing are sleeping well, increased vitality, a sense of calm, clarity, focus, beautiful skin from plenty of oxygen intake.
Read What is Breathwork from my school for deeper insight.
How to Breathe
Sit comfortably in a chair, couch, or floor with a long tall spine. Try not to use back support here so you can feel each vertebrae stack one on top of the other. Answer yourself honestly the questions: How am I breathing? How am I sitting? How am I feeling?
- Place your hands wherever is comfortable. Images of mediation will depict mudras, palms facing up, or down, but if you are unsure of the meaning of all of these just sit with your palms on your knees with a straight back and spine.
- Draw the chin slightly to the chest and feel the shoulders drop, so from there you can sit up taller.
- Now take a deep inhale, as deep as you can, and see if you can fill up to capacity.
- Whenever you are full, let it go and exhale.
- Do this 2 more times, then close your eyes to continue breathing deeply for 20 breaths.
- Count them in and out to yourself. Inhale one, exhale one, inhale two, exhale two
You have sat for 2 minutes “non-doing”. Externally, you seem to not be doing anything at all, but internally everything is happening for you. Simply sitting, observing, meditating if you will, and being in the present with the breath. That is really all it takes to cultivate and receive the benefits of a regular breathwork routine. Try that again before you go to bed, tomorrow when you wake up, and keep on going with it.
I first turned to breathwork when my brother passed. It had been almost a year and I still felt triggered to cry whenever something reminded me of him. Also called emotional hygiene, it is important to be mindful of our psychological health and adopting brief daily habits to monitor and address psychological wounds when we sustain them. Read: 5 Ways to Self Assess your Wellness for how I practice this.
Back to the Breath
Give yourself a breath break whenever you need it. You’ll find over time that breathing deeply calms the monkey mind. Next time you are angry, want to react, or even need to write something important, let vital oxygen into your system and through you so you are not reacting or being reactive, but being conscious.
The more you practice deep breathing the easier and more natural it becomes. I have been sharing regular breath breaks on Instagram and have heard amazing stories of how these pauses in the day have helped you. Thank you for going on this beautiful journey of breath with me.