Room To Breath
Turn your attention to your breath...
Notice on your inhalations how the diaphragm drops downwards and the belly softens. Feel the throat and pelvis relax. Allow the breath to expands upwards into the chest, as the shoulder blades lift and spread apart .
Notice on your exhalations how the internal spaces draw together and empty out. Feel the breath sink downward from the throat, as the sternum bone and shoulders drop. Allow the diaphragm to shrink and feel the end of the exhale draw the pelvic floor together.
Take a few moments to sense this in your body.
THE INTELLIGENT BREATH
The cadence of the breath coordinates the rhythmic wave forms that regulate the heart, brain and nervous system. Steadiness of breathe, creates stability and coherence throughout our physiology. The efficiency of these systems working together in harmony yields more energy, more centering, and more connectivity. Life is intelligent like that; we are hardwired to move towards wholeness. The moment we get back into nature, we automatically take a deep breath to synchronize with the pulse of the living world. The pattern of inter-connectivity sustains all life.
Watch an animal breathe naturally, uninhibited; it moves in a seamless wave from head to tail, expanding and compressing. Flesh and bone remain fluid, as the three body spaces – chest, belly and pelvis, fill and empty in a cycle with no beginning or end. There is a current of energy and clarity on the inhale, which glides effortlessly into the surrender and softness of the exhale.
THE AWARE BREATH
One purposeful deep breathe can make you acutely aware of how your body is suffering neglect and tension. Breathing is a totally natural process, there’s no right or wrong way to do it but doing it on purpose offers immediate relief from stress and tension.
How we breathe is a great barometer for how we are handling stress in our life. Instinctively we are designed to take action in response to stress or to recoil protectively. So all that daily stress we don’t know how to effectively channel turns into habitual patterns of contraction in the musculature and fascia. It forms a web of body armor that stores all of our undigested emotional, psychological and physical tensions. Our response to stress molds the container in which we breathe and breathing consciously melts that mold of embodied stress.
THE CONNECTED BREATH
Breathing is relating the inside and outside environment with each other. We breathe the world in, embrace it, and let it fill us, trusting what enters. We breathe our being out in to the world, surrendering control, expressing our self-hood, letting go of what we don’t need. It’s a giving and receiving.
Learning to control the breath, as we do in Yoga, we discipline the mind and body, bringing them into balance. But perhaps we could start with just getting to know the natural breath, not changing anything, letting it emerge without effort. Taking time to notice the landscape of our experience as we journey through the cycles of inhale and exhale.