Friday, 31 January 2014

The Word of the Week - Noticing the Breath

Affirmation for the Day
Today I take time to notice my breathing and
recognise that it is my connection to the divine within me.

There is a great amount of truth in the advice given when one is anxious, in a state of agitation and/or stressed that they focus upon their breathing; that they use their breath to centre themselves and to calm down. 

Today I wish to convey my increasing awareness and study of the breath.  I have been amazed to find out how different breathing techniques can have such an enormous impact upon your state of being.  In fact, it is the focus upon the breath that puts you in a meditative state and thus enables you to quiet the mind.  However, with the practice of yoga, the differing type of breathing methods employed allows your body to expand into peace and tranquillity on an entirely different level.  If you were to notice what is your “normal” breathing pattern whilst sitting reading this, where does it begin?  Is it shallow or long breaths, does it come from the navel or the chest?  Do you recognise that the inhalation of breath is rejuvenating and the exhalation is the release?  Focal breathing enables your muscles to expand, softens your internal organs and allows you to be more receptive to life.  The more you allow the breath to flow through you; subconsciously you are indeed allowing yourself to flow easily with others around you.  Focal breathing alleviates stress, calms the mind, expels old pent up emotions that block your flow of energy and opens your mind to surrender rather than struggle.

One exercise that has been wonderful that I wish to share is one which trains you to expand your lungs capacity.  To begin this exercise you take in a breath, then pause for a couple of seconds, instead of exhaling, breathe in again, this fills the top of the lungs then pause, at this point breath out slowly and steadily.  You will notice that you’re out breath will be longer, your navel will sink inward to expel all of the air you took in and you immediately relax more deeply.  This is followed by two gentle sets of in and out normal breaths, and then you repeat the hold and pause again.  This process has an immediate calming effect and allows your body, for just that moment be totally at ease.

Just for today, take time to notice your breath because as you focus your mind, even for just a moment, on an act that is done without you even thinking about it, allows you to silence your thoughts and opens a connection to the divine within you.


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