I’ve decided to write a series about the basic toolbox that we all have (or can develop) available to us. These tools help us focus on our own path, our own journey, as well as where we fit in to this mad, mad world. I often blabber on about energy, that thing that’s everywhere in many different forms. But before we look at the external energy, we need to focus on our internal energy. So, here’s the first instalment: Breathwork.
Before we are meditating, before we are journeying inside and out, before we are healing or transmuting- we need to be aware of our breathing. It really is the first thing, conscious breathing.
Do you ever catch yourself breathing shallowly, or holding your breath? A bit like holding off going to the toilet because you’re in the middle of something? Our modern world is full of things vying for our attention- bright, shiny screens, loud noises, people, devices, machines, etc. Having these distractions are not a terrible thing, our modern technology is an amazing demonstration of the evolution of the human experience, it’s just that it can come at some expense.
With so many things available and only so much time- our time and attention has become precious. We can forget to connect in with our bodies, always going from one stimulus to another, one device or person to another- so much, so that we never focus on how we are breathing. Sometimes, we are breathing so unconsciously that we lose ourselves.
Not getting the right flow of oxygen into our system can stop us functioning at our best. Shallow breaths can mean that we react more impulsively as we think in a different, instinctive way. Proper breathing means getting enough in to help our brains function, to move, to react.
Many clients this year have remarked on how the deep breathing in the energy sessions has allowed them to become aware of their own body, their own existence. They’ve remarked Breathing consciously (with focus on the air flow, the response of the body) is a way of controlling your connection with your body. You don’t have to be doing it all the time, even ten minutes a day can help lower stress levels and improve general health.
There are different ways and practices of breathing in a conscious way. It’s not some new fangled, nu-age spiritual thing either, the practices have been used over centuries in locations all over the world- Buddhists, Yogis, Shaman- all over the world. It’s common in most energy works- Yoga, Meditation and journeying, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Pranic healing, Reiki, etc. Some of these require a deeper breathing to help channel or transmute energy, which can sound a bit like snoring or even strongly clearing your nose and throat. These things can come with practice as are not always intuitive. However, the softest and easiest approaches just involve awareness of the breath, through the nose (also one nostril at a time) and out (mouth or nose, depending on the technique.
You can either practice quietly on your own, or follow techniques on youtube or at a class (yoga, tai chi, etc.).
It might be a basic concept, but it can start off making a big difference to your day. Remember to breathe!
An Exercise (this also counts as meditation, but helps you practice breathing)
Firstly, Turn off your phone, television and all other distractions… also take into account any pre-existing health conditions that you have before attempting this.
- Get yourself in a comfortable position, either lying down or sat cross legged or on a chair/stool.
- Close your eyes and take in a deep breath
- hold that breath for a few seconds
- slowly release the breath
- repeat the deep breath in and out, this time start to notice the reaction of your body to the breathing. i.e. does anywhere feel tight, hurt, uncomfortable?
- repeat the deep breath once more
- now breath slower, more naturally and bring your awareness (try focusing your attention on) to your physical heart,
- remember a happy experience, something that you really love or care about
- as you keep breathing at your more natural pace, allow that feeling of happiness and love flow through the body, smile and let the positive feelings go to the place(s) where you felt pain or discomfort.
- continue your focused breathing for a little while longer, allowing the love and happiness to flow through
- then take two or three bigger, deeper slow breaths to release anything you are holding on to
- when you feel ready to, open your eyes and allow yourself to slowly come back to normal functioning and awareness.
So there is a an introduction to conscious breathing, it is a basic tool that you can keep on developing as you and your practice does. Next up will be meditation.
Injoy, inlight and inlove
Phoenix x x