Are you breathing consciously? Or are you breathing shallowly today? Observe your breath.
Take a moment to drop thoughts that are affecting you physically and emotionally. Close your eyes for a moment or gaze out of the window. Gently seal your lips. Breathe in deeply into your belly (belly out) and exhale through your nose, belly in. Repeat 3- 6 times. Exhale any physical tension and empty all negative feelings right now.
Do not allow others to disturb your peace. Stay grounded. Go for a short walk if needed.
I used to work full time with a team of colleagues. Although I was not in the corporate world where it was faster paced, I could already feel the stress in my body easily. At that time (before I started yoga), I frequently visited the massage therapists to help me to release the tensions on my neck, shoulders and back. It felt really good for 2 days or so and then the tightness would come back again. Some of you might have the same experiences as me.
We try all methods to ease our physical or emotional pains by doing things that will give us more pleasure like shopping, eating and drinking alcohol. However, we avoid going deeper and look into the root of our pain. Many friends and students do share their stories with me. I went through a “down period” just like anyone else but currently, I am happier and feel lighter. In the past, I did not have the knowledge to help myself and felt “stucked” every now and then. Most of us have the same story, although they sounded different. We are attached to things, conditions, people, practices, etc.
I am not enlightened but I am lighter with the practice of conscious breathing and looking deeper into myself – meaning embracing uncertainty and facing my deepest fear. It is not easy but you have to decide that you want to take the first step and cross the bridge of insecurities. Seriously, nothing is permanent – your job, your relationships, your house, your car, etc. Let’s start to embrace changes and also stop planning for the worst situations. What are we attracting into our life if we keep thinking of negative thoughts and amplify fears?
3 things that you can do this weekend to recharge yourself and reduce any stress
- Get closer to nature (go to the beach, park or garden).
- Sit comfortably on a bench (feet firmly on the ground) or sit on the grass
(cross your legs comfortably), keep your spine erect and palms (facing up) on your knees or thighs, gently close your eyes and practice diaphragmatic breathing. Inhale (belly out) through your nose and exhale (belly in) through your nose. Keep that breath natural and once you are comfortable, try to breathe a little deeper. Do not force the breath. Keep your mind on your breath.
- Walk slowly or even bare feet on the grass or sand. Feel the wind or the grass and sand on your soles. Listen to the birds or rustling of the leaves. Place your palms on the tree trunk and just stay connected to the present moment and not judge the people whom you might observe and start your mind chattering again. Do not beat yourself up too if it happens. Simply bring your attention back to the present moment, connect with nature.
Yoga is a great way to practise proper breathing. Breathing into the belly also means that we are breathing into our solar plexus (third chakra, between navel and breast bone). If your third chakra is blocked, you might feel anxiety, insecurity, poor appetite, lack of confidence and poor self image, inability to focus, angry, judgmental, nothing is good enough (perfectionist attitude).
I would like to invite you to practise with me or any of the classical yoga instructors that are able to help you to practise proper breathing for a more conscious living. If there is something that you want to share with me or a personal experience of classical yoga, do write to me firstname.lastname@example.org and we might be able to share your story with others too. May the light in you shine through any obstacles. I will leave you with a quote
“He who is not every day conquering some fear
has not learned the secret of life”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Photo credits to www.pinterest.com