I am so jazzed that so many people really loved the Breath Check-in Basics printable gift! In the spirit of that enthusiasm, I thought I would share a sneak peek at some of the content from my upcoming e-book about mindful breathing for beginners.
I am so excited to offer you this short taste of my introduction to mindful breathing! The following information is a combination of knowledge and techniques drawn from my experience singing in professional choirs, my training in yoga and Pilates instruction and my education and practice as a Doctor of Chiropractic. This e-book combines diverse techniques and ideas to create the foundation for your own intentional breathing practice.
I want to congratulate you for choosing loving self-care in the form of this intentional breathing practice. For best results, I recommend that you PRACTICE EVERY DAY. You can devote as much or as little time as you feel is appropriate… just remember that this is one of those opportunities where you get out of the practice what you put into it.
Intentional breathing is great because you can practice anywhere, and you don’t need any fancy or expensive equipment. You can practice intentional breathing at any age or fitness level to improve your well being right now.
Your breath practice will enhance and support you in whatever other activities you’re already doing. Intentional breathing is also a simple tool with profound effects that can help us get out of the swift current of thoughts flowing through our head and into a grounded experience of life in our body.
All it takes to begin is your loving dedication and shining the brilliant light of your awareness on something that we all take for granted on a daily basis… Our breath!
WHAT DOES BREATHING DO FOR ME?
With every activity that requires time and dedication, most people have one question… What’s in it for me? We’ll touch on the basics of what breathing does for our bodies now and get into more detail at in person private sessions, workshops or in the e-book, once it is released.
Breathing brings fresh oxygen into the body and gets carbon dioxide out of the body. When we breathe in, oxygen comes into our lungs as we inhale and it is transferred to our blood, which carries the oxygen to all our cells and tissues. The blood then picks up carbon dioxide and other waste products from our cells and carries it back to our lungs, where it is released as we exhale.
In this way, efficient breathing keeps our cells and tissues fresh and energized. Breathing well also helps to keep our thinking clear because the brain, even more than other organs, really needs a steady supply of oxygen to do its job well.
We could even think of our breath as the most important element in maintaining our health. If we think about the things that we typically associate with a healthy lifestyle, like food, water, and sleep for example… and we compare these things to the breath… the breath always comes out on top for vital importance in maintaining our health and even sustaining our life. Another way to think about this is that we can go for quite a while without food and still survive (maybe a few weeks)… we can go slightly less long without sleep and water (maybe a few days) and still recover… but we can’t survive more than a few minutes without breathing.
LEARNING HOW TO TUNE IN TO YOUR BREATH – AN AWARENESS BASED EXERCISE
You can make the choice to either be sitting or standing for these exercises. In whatever position you have chosen, feel your feet flat on the floor, a comfortable distance apart.
If you are sitting, feel your sitting bones –the bony points at the base of your butt- press downward gently into your chair. Sit with your back upright and away from the back of your chair if you can.
If you are standing, maintain that grounded connection with your feet and allow your knees to stay soft, keeping a little microbend in your knees at all times.
Allow your spine and the crown of your head to lengthen upward toward the sky from this firm foundation. If it helps you to focus on your breathing, allow your eyes to gently close. Take a moment to feel your breath right now without changing anything.
Simply by bringing your awareness to your breath you may notice that it is already beginning to change… if your breath becomes more full and deep, make a mental note that this is what your body is naturally calling for when you make the time and space to listen to it.
Now we are going to try an experiment… there is no right or wrong here and no judgment. This is all about just noticing what is. In this experiment, you are a scientist objectively observing your breath.
Become aware of the rate of your breath, whether it feels fast or slow.
Notice the depth of your breath, whether it feels shallow or deep.
Check in with the quality of your breath, noticing whether it is flowing smoothly or has rough edges.
Notice if there is any sound associated with your breath.
Are there are any emotions or feelings associated with this experience of your breath.
Allow yourself to suspend any judgment about whether the way you are breathing is “good” or “bad” and let your self be fully present with what is.
Notice where you feel your breath moving in your body.
Take 3 more breaths like this.
Maintain this connection to your breath and when you feel ready, gently blink your eyes open if you have closed them.
Notice how you feel after taking this moment to connect with your breath.
More Breathing Resources for You!
If you would like more practical, down to earth resources to help you learn more about how to breathe better to improve your health and life, I will be releasing an e-book called Breathe Easy through Amazon. This will likely happen in April 2015, although I am being flexible with myself about the release and am trusting that it will be ready when its ready. I’ll keep you posted. If you are living in Minnesota and will be in the Twin Cities this April, I will be offering the Breathe workshop that started it all at various locations around the metro. Information about the first scheduled workshop is listed below. I will add more information about workshop opportunities in the near future.
Thursday, April 23 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Mississippi Market- West 7th
Co-op Member-Owner: $15.00
Just in case you did not get the chance to print out the gorgeous Breath Check-In Basics printable, here is another opportunity for you to enjoy it! Click Back In Body Breath Check-in Basics to access the printable pdf version.