Breathe Into A Peaceful Day

Standard

gandhi

Just as a good night’s sleep begins by using our breath to let go, a peaceful day begins in humility. 

As human beings our lives are supported by the earth.   The term “humility” comes from the Latin word “humilis”, and is translated not only as humble, but also as “low”, or “from the earth.”  It is important to acknowledge that each day gives us an opportunity to grow and branch out like a deeply rooted tree expressing ourselves and being of service to others, just as a tree might bare fruit or offer shade for rest. 

When we awaken each morning consciously aware of our potential to expand creatively as a result of our rootedness, in our job, with our family, or simply within our experience of those we may not even know we set the stage for a feeling of peace inside that will draw peace toward us like a magnet.  How we feel inside will always be reflected by what we experience outside.  To accept this idea we must be humble.

Tomorrow morning, whether you use an alarm clock or not, when your eyes open, TAKE PAUSE.  As difficult as it might seem, no matter what you think and feel you must rush to do, take a moment and close your eyes again. 

Notice your physical and mental desire to jump out of bed, especially if you’re used to rushing to the coffee pot.  Without judgement, experience your five senses, noticing the smell, light flickering through your eye lids, the taste in your mouth, sounds you might hear from others in the house or outside, and finally how your body feels lying in bed, the texture of the sheets against your skin.  This practice will help set a tone of presence for the day.

Place your right palm on your belly button and your left palm on your chest.  Take a moment to acknowledge that today is a gift, filled with opportunities to breathe from your belly and to live from your heart.  With this in mind take three long and slow complete breaths through your nose filling your hands.  Allow yourself to savor each breath all the way in and all the way out. 

As you arrive at the top of your last inhale — PAUSE — then sigh it out through your mouth.  Take one more moment to notice how balanced you feel, relaxed, yet ready to move into the rhythms of your day. 

Remember, it’s not what life throws at us; it’s how we respond that determines how we feel. 

With Love & Gratitude,

Next blog:  Breathe Into an Important Event

(Please post your comments in support of living with response-ability)

www.wholebreath.com

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Breathe Into A Peaceful Day

  1. maiedell rose

    I loved your class last week, but I still have a few questions. I believe that you said that to engage the parasympathetic system ( which is more relaxed than the sympathetic one), you must breathe with the mouth closed or using ujayi (sp?). If this is true, should you do this as much as possible? as when standing in line? what happens when you run or work out? how do you breathe with the mouth closed if you’re panting? My athletic father always told me to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth, but I don’t know why. To gain control of the breath until you can close the mouth? Also, what’s the point of holding your breath? I’m so excited to learn all this about breathing – and my blood pressure’s down! – at least temporarily. Thank you Maiedell

  2. Hi, Maiedell…

    I hope you are having a nice week! Thank you for attending Complete Breath & Total Relaxation. Just expressing an interest in breath can help to deepen your breathing. It is not unusual to have questions following my breathing and relaxation workshops. There’s a lot of information shared in a short time.

    1. To activate the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system(ANS) or the relaxation response, breathing through the nose is recommended. Ujjayi breath (narrowing the passage way at the back of the throat) is optional but not nessesary. Ujjayi, or ocean breath helps us better regulate the flow of breath in and out of the body and also helps to sooth the ANS.

    2. It is advisable to breathe through your nose as often as possible. One important function of the nose is to help maintain the balance between Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide in our blood. If we lose too much Carbon Dioxide by mouth breathing it can trigger Fight-or-flight/stress resonse, thus activating the sympathetic branch of the ANS, even at a low level, which will also encourage shallow chest breathing and panting.

    3. When working out it is suggested that we attempt to maintain nose breathing, and stay in an aerobic state, which will burn more fat, though there’s much controversy around this. If your muscles and body become fatigued b/c you are working out beyond your aerobic capacity you will feel like you must exhale through the mouth and might even begin panting. Although, it’s certainly okay to “push it” occasionally, but breathing through the nose while working out is a more “mindful” way of training, which has many benefits. My suggestion while working out is to try and progress slowly maintaining breath control (i.e. breathing through your nose). Stay acutely aware of your breath and your pace. When you feel the urge to exhale through your mouth slow down and attempt to maintain nose breathing. If you’re walking or running for thirty minutes, stay with this practice for 70% of the time, increasing your intensity and exhaling through the mouth for short periods. See how you feel and analyze your results. The idea of breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth, as many of us were taught is not ideal based on more recent research into fitness and how the autonomic nervous system actually works. Unfortunately, just like life, many athletic programs foster the idea of forcing our body to go places that we’re not ready for, which ultimately causes an imbalance in our system. In this case, an imbalance between O2 and CO2.

    4. Holding the breath for a half second is useful for relieving tension in the body anytime we feel the need.

    Be well!

    John

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s