Breath - The Gateway To Our Soul

Updated: Mar 6

What is one of the first things we do when we are startled or get caught off guard? Yes - you got it ... we take a quick breath in ... and HOLD it, which tenses our muscles even more than they already are.

Most of us go through our daily lives breathing shallowly - it's as though if we take a deeper breath , we might cough or choke on the air.

I am the first one to admit that I am a shallow breather. A shallow breather, a quick mover, a get up and go-go-goer, a worry wort (some would say), always with something on my mind that needs solving.

Deep inside - I'd like to just slow down. I feel like the type of person who is content not having something productive to do every second of the day, so why do I not LIVE that way?


I think it starts with the breath - the gateway to our soul, our mind and our health.


Our souls are in here just waiting patiently for our rambling minds and tensed up bodies to realize that we don't have to be this way (tensed up and busy-minded). So - what are we to do? How do we change this pattern and start slowing down our minds, our bodies, and opening up our souls for a more calm, collected way of being?


We already have exactly what we need to handle our shallow breathing, rambling / worrying minds, and our tensed up muscles.

*** A DEEP and full BREATH! Taking deeper, slower, more productive breaths is absolutely free!


So how do we take a deep, full relaxing breath?



The easiest way to learn (at least for me) is to

1. Sit, stand, or lie down and get comfortable - but don't fall asleep.

2. Place one hand on your chest, below your collar bones. Place the other hand over your abdomen, between your belly button and sternum, OR right over your belly button.

3. Close your eyes. Closing our eyes helps us bring our focus inward.

4. Start breathing in and out through your nose at whatever pace is comfortable. Do this for a few minutes and just notice what you feel. The warmth of your hands, the gentle rise and fall of your hands as they are placed on the chest and abdomen. You will notice your abdomen expands first, and you may barely feel your chest rise/expand at all.

5. THEN, after a few minutes of getting relaxed and calmed, try to take a longer inhale and exhale (only increase by a second or two at first) and notice the increased rise and fall of your hands where they are placed. This is so calming - and it is a practice in concentration too . The more you practice this, the more you'll notice yourself doing this type of breathing without requiring your hands as feedback. Once you get the hang of it, try it with your eyes open during your daily activities (maybe NOT while operating machinery or driving, since your focus needs to be 100% on those things at those times!).


Next time you start getting anxious, irritable, nervous, frustrated, etc ...

- STOP

- Take in a breath through your nose (nostril breathing slows down the breath automatically) for 3-4 seconds. Follow that breath as the air hits your nostrils, travels down to your abdomen as it rises slightly .... And follow it as you exhale, your abdomen retreats back toward your center, and the air travels back up and out your nostrils.

- Do this a few times, and you'll notice that you are feeling a little better, a little more clear-minded, and a little more calm - Ready to mindfully respond (instead of quickly reacting) to whatever the circumstance is.

You'll also be increasing the full oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange throughout your body, which improves your health in many ways - two of which are lowering your heart rate and your blood pressure. Check out the following abstracts for more detailed information


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5575449/


https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/06/210630135033.htm



If you'd like to follow along with a guided meditation, here is a link to the first meditation that I wrote and recorded a while back. I hope you find it helpful and enjoy it.




Thanks for reading this! I will see you in the next post.







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