Breathwork is a simple but powerful tool to cultivate presence and be mindful in our daily lives. It involves using your breath to bring awareness to your body and mind, and can be done anytime, anywhere, and at no cost.
Being present means being fully engaged in the moment, without being worried about past events and not fearing what the future holds. It is a celebration of where you are, what you are doing and whom you surround yourself with.
Breathing is a natural and automatic process that happens without us even thinking about it. However, when we pay attention to our inhales and exhales and do it consciously, we can tap into its power to calm the mind and bring ourselves into the present moment.
There are many different types of breathing exercises, but we would like to share with you a simple breath meditation as a pathway back to presence:
Lay down in a comfortable position. Close your eyes.
Connect your inhalation and exhalation by breathing through your nose. Breathe continuously, without pausing between each breath.
Take note of your breathing. Where in your body do you feel your breath moving?
In the chest? Belly? Towards the neck?
Do not try to alter the pattern; just observe.
Count the length of the in- and out-breaths in silence (second by second).
Concentrate on the inhale, then let go on the exhale.
The breathing will gradually slow down as you count the length of each inhalation and exhalation in silence (second by second).
Allow yourself some time to savor the moment and pay close attention to any physical sensations.
Place your hands on your chest; take some slow and deep breaths. Breathe into your hands. Inhale into this region while you press your hands there.
Now place your hands on your collarbones, take some slow and deep breaths here.
Now place your hands on the sides of the ribcage on both sides, take some slow and deep breaths. Breathe into your hands. Inhale into this region while you press your hands there.
Now place your hands on the lower belly, take some slow and deep breaths here. Connecting to the sensations in this area.
Going now to your hips and placing your hands there, take some slow and deep breaths.
Continue with this exercise and imagine breathing all the way down to your feet.
Give yourself some time to adjust to this mindful breathing pattern.
How are you feeling now?
Come back to the present moment at your own pace and open your eyes when you are ready.
So next time you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, distracted, and anxious, try taking a few minutes to focus on your breath and bodily sensations. After all, breath is your superpower!