Finding Balance Through Breathing
To become a monk, the first lesson you are taught is to breathe. I understand those reading this are not thinking of becoming a monk, but there is something we can learn from the power of breathing.
In a world where social media is increasingly controlling our lives and well being, it becomes harder to relax and unwind for some people. Social media can improve our learning and bring people together, allow friends and family from across the world to communicate. However it can also make others feel isolated, disrupt sleeping patterns, friendships, and mental health, it’s all about balance.
Breathing exercises and simple meditation can help improve the balance in your life. There is no definitive technique, it’s important to find out what works for you. Below is a yogic breathing exercise to help you get started.
It is important to be sat in a comfortable position. Wherever you feel most relaxed, this could be in a chair, on the floor or in bed. If seated, have a straight back, relax the shoulders, and allow your arms to rest where they feel comfortable. If you prefer to lay on your back, relax your whole body with your arms out to the side, palms facing upwards. This position is called Savasana.
Allow your eyes to close softly and breath only through the nose. Remain in this position for a few moments, notice your breath going in through the nose and out.
With your body settled, slowly inhale from your belly and draw the breath upwards through your body. Feel your chest expand as you inhale deeply. Feel the warmth rise through the upper chest, into the shoulders and base of the neck.
There can often by a pause before the exhalation, if so, allow it to naturally occur and notice the stillness.
The exhalation is long, soft and slow. Start by slowly releasing the breath from the upper chest, notice the relaxation of the heart and lungs, the shoulders loosening as you exhale. Follow the exhalation through your body and down into your belly. Extend the breath until your lungs are empty but still feeling comfortable. It is important not to force it and push your body, relax and allow it to occur naturally.
This completes one round of breathing. Repeat it 3 times, and return back to normal breathing for a few moments. Relax the shoulders, notice the air around you and repeat the deep breathing exercise another 3 times.
There is no time limit for this exercise, but plenty of benefits;
Alleviates headaches and calms anxiety and tense mental states
Promotes better blood flow
Decreases heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tension
Find a place where you feel most at ease
Don’t try too hard, this can put pressure on yourself when the aim to relieve pressure
Aim to practise once or twice a day at the same time to develop a habit