So here is one of the useful tools we learnt from our retreat to bring into 2017 for you. There were many "ahhha" moments but this one is so simple and has really helped me to connect back into my body, energise and calm my busy mind.
The breath, our breath that keeps us alive and dynamic in our life is fully there for you to use as a powerful tool for checking into your emotions and any body sensations that upset us or cause us pain.
Shallow breathing only uses your shoulders and doesn't move your diaphram which sets off our fight and flight response in our body, this makes us feel anxious, scared and eventually very tired.
Try it now, track your breath where does it start and end?
So how did you go, where does your breath go and how deep is your breath?
Now try this, put your hand on your belly below your belly button on a place we call the "Dain Tian" in Chinese Medicine, breathe down into this area so that your hand gets pushed out and you have a little pot belly, then keep the breath moving up to fill the ribs and chest area, try not to lift the shoulders up to your ears keep them down. It's counter intuitive I know, as when we are told to breathe in deep a lot of us lift the shoulders and puff out our chest with no downward movement of the diaphram, this only fills the top lung area, denying our internal organs of a great massage from the diaphram and more oxygen to energise and calm our whole body. If you shallow breathe fast you will hyperventalate and feel very anxious like you want to run, this is your brains response to the fast breathing which is telling us we are in danger and need to run. When you let the breath out just let it fall out, no pushing, see if you can do this for five rounds.
How did you go, a lot of the time this kind of deep breathing at first can make you light headed, this is how it feels to oxygenate your body for the first time in a long time.
If you have a new born baby watch or remember how they breathe, their little tummies would rise up and down not their shoulders.
Once you make this a regular practice throughout the day you will catch yourself breathing shallowing or even holding your breath and you will notice how horrible it feels.
How to use this throughout your day
So I've been purely taking time to breathe into my belly regularly throughout the day and especially if I feel stressed or worried about something. If you're a desk worker I would set a happy sounding alarm to stop and spend time for ten rounds of deep belly breaths. Believe me you will notice your energy bounce up or everytime you serve someone connect to your breath, basically pick something that will remind you throughout your day to belly breathe, then it will just become natural. For those of us who feel anxious or nervous then this is the perfect time to belly breathe. In confronting interactions take time to place your hand on your belly and breathe deep, you may even divert the conversation to why you're doing this and start to say how this interacton is making you feel with the person. Try it out, it's a tool that you can use anywhere and it works. So good to teach your children this as well. The other day Rabin my five year old hurt himself and came to me saying " I'm deep breathing Mumma and it's so helping me". That's a happy moment.
When to use it
Feeling stressed, want more energy, feel sick in the tummy, in labour, anxious, angry, sad, actually all emotions, headaches, deppressed, get the drift anytime and as regular as you can.
Being in touch with your body and how you're breathing and feeling will give you better health and far more energy.
It's such a simple but effective tool, your mind and body will love you for it. Let me know how you go.
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