#BE15for15 – Day 14 – Breathing on all sides of the body – 3D breath
Now that you have connected with the breath on the sides and back of your body – and you know some of the reasons why a mindful breathing practice is so important – let’s incorporate several of the elements we played with earlier.
This is where things can feel like a lot to integrate when you’re first getting started. I encourage you to use tender loving patience and give yourself permission to integrate these components at your own pace. It will all come together with regular practice and time.
Allow yourself to find your tall posture, lengthening and lifting upward if you are sitting or standing.
Let your awareness be drawn to your breath. Feel the breath as it moves in and out through your nostrils. Allow yourself to observe your breath as it is right now without changing anything.
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? Let yourself feel what is there without the need to get into any story around it.
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. Gradually invite your breath to become more full and deep.
As you breathe in, allow your belly to gently soften and expand outward and downward. As you breathe out, gently draw your belly inward and upward to press out any stale air that may be lingering in the lower parts of your lungs. Allow the breath to begin to flow more deeply. With each inhale, draw your breath in and down so that it feels like your breath is flowing all the way down into the base of your pelvic bowl. As your belly gently expands outward, your pelvic floor expands downward. As you breathe out, gently draw your pelvic floor in and up, and draw your belly in and up as you exhale softly and completely.
As you take a breath in, visualize your breath traveling in and down through your nostrils, chest and abdomen, until it fills your pelvic bowl. As you breathe out, visualize the breath traveling up and out through your abdomen and chest, then exiting through your nostrils, as you feel a sense of energetic lift from the pelvic floor, upward through your body – traveling along the channel just forward of your spine. With each inhale, feel the breath flowing in and down – filling the body from the pelvic bowl, up though the abdomen, ribcage and chest. With each exhale, feel the softening – letting go of what you no longer need. Continue breathing in this slow smooth fashion.
Draw your awareness around to the sensations at the back of your body. With each inhale, feel the breath moving in and down along the channel just forward of your spine all the way until it reaches the tip of your tailbone. As you exhale, feel the breath trace that same path back up and out of the body as it leaves through the nostrils. With each inhale, feel a sense of expansion between your shoulder blades and a general broadening across the whole back body. With each exhale, feel a gentle sense of lift from your hip bones, upward through your waist along the spine.
Allow yourself to draw your awareness around to the sides of your body. With each breath in, notice a sense of expansion under your arms. With each breath out, feel the ribcage gently releasing. Inhale, feel your ribcage expanding out wide to the sides. Exhale, feel your ribcage soften.
Draw your awareness now to the breath as it flows freely on all sides of the body. With each inhale, feel the breath flowing in and down – filling the body from the pelvic bowl, up though the abdomen, ribcage and chest on all sides of the body. With each exhale, feel the breath traveling up and out, as your pelvic floor, belly, sides and back gently draw inward and upward.
With each inhale, draw the breath in and down all the way to the base of your pelvic bowl, feeling your pelvic floor soften, your belly, sides and back of your body expanding in all directions With each exhale, softening – letting go of what you no longer need. As you continue breathing in this slow smooth fashion, your body and mind become more and more deeply relaxed.
Allow yourself to take five more breaths this way at your own pace, feeling a sense of expansion and spaciousness as you inhale… and a sense of release as you exhale. With each breath in, feel yourself filling the container of your body with fresh air. With each breath out, feel the softening of your shoulders, neck and jaw. Feel free to close your eyes and focus on your breath and sensations if that is helpful to you. When you feel ready, allow your eyes to gently open.
How does it feel to breathe into the fullness of the container of your body? What thoughts or feelings do you have at this point? Write down any observations that feel important to you about this awareness based experience with your breath in your journal now.
When you feel ready to begin your practice, set your timer – or press play to begin your guided Daily Breathe Easy practice (included with the Breathe Easy audio book). Allow yourself to continue to observe your breath for 15 minutes. Focus on the easy, gentle movement on all the sides of your body during your practice today. Notice any thoughts, sensations, or emotions that reveal themselves to you through this experience. Do not fight them or judge them. Simply notice what shows up and allow it to be. Keep connecting with the movement of your breath through your body.
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 connecting with your breath. If you are using a journal during this process (which I highly recommend), record how you feel after your second 15 minute experience. Did you feel subtle movement of the breath in the back of your body? How does it feel to connect with your sides? Write down any observations that feel important to you about this awareness based experience with your breath in your journal now. Did this experience feel challenging? Did it feel easy? What did you notice? Was your practice today different than yesterday? If so, in what way(s)? Remember to be kind and to give yourself the gift of grace. Tomorrow we will discuss how to continue your practice moving forward as well as tying together the different principles introduced throughout the challenge. If you have any thoughts or questions you would like to share, please feel free to do so in the comments section! I’ll do my best to keep up!