Breathing

There has always been an abundance of stress in the world.  With all the difficulties in our lives, we also have a wonderful opportunity to learn more about who we are, and also to learn methods to find greater peace even as the world we have planned seems to be changing in ways we never thought it could.

Simple breath awareness can bring about tremendous shifts in our daily lives.  First for this breathing practice find a comfortable place to lie down (If lying down is impossible find a comfortable seated position with your back resting against a wall or back of a chair).  Quieter is better, but your intention is more important than the environment.  Start laying on your back, and bend both knees and place your feet on the floor.  Take your feet a little wider than your hips, and rest your knees together.  Place one hand on your belly, and one hand on your chest.  Close your eyes, and begin to pay attention to your breath and the way your breath moves your hands  You can breathe comfortably and slowly.  This practice can be done anywhere you can find a comfortable place.  From 3 or 4 minutes to as long as 20 minutes is a great place to start.  According to Judith Hanson Lasater (a famous American senior yoga teacher), the average person requires 18 minutes to relax fully, so if you have more time you may find more benefit from the practice.

When we practice breath awareness we are moving deeper toward our true selves, as well as finding methods to calm our bodies and become more peaceful.  What happens when we move into a deep breathing meditation is a tremendous shift from our outward senses to our inward feelings and experience.  Our brain comes to a more neutral state allowing our nervous system to find a deeper state of calm where we can understand more clearly what we are thinking and how we are feeling.  This can help us to be more comfortable with the changes in our lives that we are not prepared for.  It can also help us to be more intelligent in our decisions and more confident in our relationships with others.

This simple breathing practice can be done any time you can find a few minutes.