“Our greatest mistake – we cannot breathe” S Yesudian Yoga and Health 1976
For most people, breathing is simply inhaling and exhaling. Our body takes care of it and we give it little mind unless something interrupts it and we can’t breathe; without breathe, we can be dead within minutes. The oxygen in our breath reacts with food molecules in our cells and creates Energy. We give much attention to food and little to the breath which co-creates our physical existence. Today’s Newsletter outlines one simple method of breathing that we can practise anytime & anywhere that has profound effects on our Wellbeing.
Ancients knew the power and importance of breathing. Within yoga we practise Pranayama – breathing exercises. The breath is the link between body, mind and our emotions. Think how we gasp a breath when surprised or pant when we become fearful or excited. Our emotions can alter our breath, but conversely, we can use our breath to steady our mind and calm our emotions!
Try this Thirty second breathing exercise:
- Consciously relax the body in whatever position you are in. Take one long deep breath. Notice where the breath travels in your body. Does your chest expand and abdomen pull in? or does your belly expand like a sleeping baby?
- Place your hands on your abdomen; over the belly button, now breathe into to belly, feeling the breath move your hands outwards from the body. As you exhale, draw the hands and belly gently in towards your spine. Now, close your eyes and repeat once or twice more.
How does your mind and body feel?
I will never recommend quick fixes – good things take time - but I will recommend simple practises which have immediate and profound benefits. Abdominal breathing relaxes the body, calms the mind, calms the nerves and brings you back to the present moment (mindfulness)! It’s the simplest practice you can do anywhere & anytime to improve your Well-being - just don’t close your eyes if you do it whilst driving!