Breathing Practices Made Simple
Time to slow down and focus on respiration - to be inspired by the inhale breath and to allow whatever needs to go, expire with the exhale breath. Find your journal and a pen. Place it near you so you can record some impressions in a few moments.
You may wish to read through this blog entry once and then record your own voice reading my cues so there is no effort in remembering what to do pausing your voice where you will need time to breathe.
Close your eyes, find your seat. Either place your hands comfortably on your lap, one hand on your belly and one on your heart or just let them rest where they want to be. If you need to lie down, then do that or move to a wall and rest with your legs up the wall. Once you are settled, come back to your breath and only that.
Start with three breaths. Can you be fully aware of three inhales and three exhales? Slow it down. Inhale one, exhale one. Inhale two, exhale two. Inhale three, exhale three. If you managed to remain aware of three breaths, try it again. Try eleven breaths. No fancy pranayama yet, just awareness of breath. If that is enough for you today, let that be enough.
If however you are ready to deepen awareness, take your mind's eye to your rib cage. Feel the expansiveness of your ribs, feel the interconnective tissue expand and soften as you breathe in and breathe out. Begin to explore the nooks and crannies of the breath in your chest. Become aware of the right side where the front ribs join the back ribs. Fully breathe into the right side a few times. Does the front move as easily as the back on this side? After your next exhale, take your awareness to the left side and do the same thing. Can you expand this side? Is it moving as freely as the right side? Breathe and observe. Stay with the left side for a few breaths. Now move your awareness to the back ribs on both sides. Can you feel them expanding with the inhale breath? softening with the exhale breath? Are you able to slow your respiration a bit and really fill up the back rib cage? Breathe and observe. Is your mind wandering? Come back to your breath. Take your awareness now to the centre of your chest. This is your energetic heart centre. From this central point, observe your breath. Front, back, right, left, what's happening. Are you able to breathe all four sides evenly? Take a few more slow breaths from the centre of your chest. Release the awareness at your chest. Come back to your natural breath. When you are ready, slowly open your eyes. Find your journal and make some notes about your experience.
Try this same breath awareness in the chest in child's pose tomorrow and please let me know how you feel.
Instructions for restorative child's pose (balasana):
You will need a yoga mat or blanket, cushions, a rolled-up blanket or bolster. Get down on your knees and sit back on your heels. You may need a blanket between your heels and seat and or you may feel more comfortable with a bolster, cushion or rolled-up blanket under your chest. Keeping your seat resting on your heels or blanket, slowly walk your hands forward and rest on the floor or your prop. Your knees may be together or apart. Toes may be tucked or untucked. (See the image below.) Take a few minutes to settle into the posture before you add breath awareness.
For more information on building a breath and meditation practice, check back next Monday or book a private session. Namaste.
Integrative Healing with Sadhana offers instruction and guidance as a full healing package or you can choose individual practices such as Yoga, Meditation, Reiki, Space Clearing or Intuitive Readings in Gibsons BC. Either way, you will be met exactly where you are at and together, we will adapt practices to fit your individual needs improving your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being.