“There is a way of breathing that’s a shame and suffocation. And there’s another way of expiring, a love-breath that lets you open infinitely.” Rumi
Proper breath promotes relaxation
Proper, relaxed breathing is the cornerstone in any inner awareness process. Improper breathing contributes to stress, anxiety and pain.
Try it no by taking in a clear, deep breath. Sit in a comfortable position and as straight as you can. Take another long, slow deep breath. Feel yourself expanding the barrel of the ribcage out in all directions filling the bottom of your lungs first. Breath deeply but see if you can find a place of ease rather than striving with it. Slowly exhales.
On your next in breath FEEL breathing in peace and joy. As you breathe out, intentionally feel breathing out all negativity, anger, stress and thoughts of the day. Continue for a few cycles holding the breath briefly at the top of the inhalation and at the bottom of the exhalation.
This simple practice can help teach your nervous system to shift from fear to ease, to release worry and anxiety and even to begin to catch a glimmer of happiness bubbling up from deep inside.
Develop a new habit of inner ease
To learn how to be in the present moment more often, practice this exercise every day for 21 days. When you begin a new practice, it becomes a habit after 3 weeks. Start with just a few minutes and gradually build up to 10-20 minutes.
Several times a day or whenever you find yourself in a tense or nervous state, try simple deep breathing. The beauty of it is that you can do it anywhere and you can do it without drawing attention to yourself. You can practice it at work or at home. You can practice it while you are out walking or enjoying nature. Practice it at different times and in different locations and note how you feel.
Pay attention to how your energy shifts; you will probably notice more vitality, ease and inner peace and less tension, stress and reactivity. As your energy begins to unblock, straighten out and flow more coherently, your mind relaxes and becomes quieter, your mood, feelings, mind and body all naturally move toward greater health, deeper relaxation and an inner state of peace.
These steps help us go beyond our everyday mind and engage our consciousness in a way that leads us to the inner states pointed to by spiritual teachers and perennial wisdom. Brain science supports that wisdom. Through these practices we learn how to cooperate with our inner operating systems so they work for us instead of against us