Sit and Breathe
Meditation is the gift we can give ourselves this season to reset our patterns of thinking, calm our emotions, down regulate our nervous system and tap back into Source. Not only does it help with over all stress management and health, benefitting our cardiovascular and immune system, it increases our concentration, acceptance, happiness and creativity. Meditation amplifies our present moment awareness and even expands our perception of time. So stop making excuses about not having enough time to give your self this powerful “present” of presence and inner peace!
Breathing deeply and taking some time each day to consciously connect your breath, by making sure you are not holding your breath, is in itself an important practice.
It will improve oxygen delivery, helping our cells stay happy and healthy by stimulating cellular regeneration and give us better circulation while detoxifying our system. It also helps uplift our mood, improve our posture and promotes better sleep. So connect your breathing exercise with your meditation and reap the benefits!
Here is a simple way to start your practice:
Find a comfortable quiet space where you can rest in an upright and seated position and not be interrupted. As you settle into the place you are sitting, make sure your phone is off and you are warm and comfortable enough to sit without distraction. Approach this practice with an attitude of kindness and curiosity.
Invite yourself to lean a few millimeters back into your awareness of your own “backbody”. This will bring you into a restful upright position that grounds and anchors you more into your physical body. As you feel your connection to the seat or cushion where you are sitting and the downward gravitational pull this creates in your awareness, also bring your attention to your heart center. Here with your intention and attention and a very subtle movement, you can slightly lift and rotate the orientation of your heart a bit heavenward, creating some buoyancy and a positive feeling of openness as you start to deepen your breath.
Now take several deep belly breaths and allow yourself to release tension by making a slight sound on the exhalation like a sigh. Relax your whole body as you continue to release on the exhalation. Give yourself the time to scan your whole body, simply noticing where you may be tense or holding energy, bringing that kind and curious touch of your awareness, inviting more spaciousness and opening, especially relaxing your jaw, neck and shoulders. Once you feel relaxed and focused, begin a gentle connected breathing practice with a mantra or simply just follow the breath with your awareness as it moves in and out of your nose.
A simple mantra that helps me anchor my awareness in the present moment and interrupts the constant stream of thoughts, bringing me into a deeper alpha state is: “I am here now.” I combine this mantra with the breath, breathing in on the “I”, out on the “am”, in again on the “here” and out on the “now”. Repeating this silent mantra for 15-20 minutes in connection to the breath- being aware of not holding the breath- is a powerful grounding, centering and vitalizing practice.