• Marj Murray

Day 1 - Feeling Safe - Breath Awareness

Updated: Mar 30, 2020

Welcome to Day 1 of Take a Breather – 21 days of breathing techniques.

Many of us may be feeling waves of fear and anxiety right now. This is normal.

This breathing technique helps to relax within the overwhelm and to use the awareness of the breath to bring a sense of trust in our body to life. Imagine that your gentle breath is the safe place within yourself and that every breath is supporting good health and well-being.

The idea is to practice constantly returning your attention to and relaxing in the natural rhythm of your breathing . Allow the thought and feelings to rise and as they do, simply notice them, and gently return your attention to your breath. Each time you notice the mind wandering, come back to the breath. You will feel calmer and the turbulence of the mind settling.

This practice may feel challenging at first when we become aware of how busy the mind is, but the more you practice, the easier it will get. Over time, this practice will help you just to watch your mental and emotional experience without getting caught up in it.

How to practice:

Take a few moment to settle into a comfortable position. If you are sitting in your chair, sit back without slouching, relaxing your neck and shoulders, uncross your legs and place your hands on your lap with you palms facing upwards. If you are lying down, make sure that your head and back is in one straight line and that your pillow is not too high. Let your feet flop out to the sides and relax your arms next to you palms facing upwards or place them on your belly.

Begin with a soft exhale, letting go of any stress, tension and worry. Do this again, this time relaxing the back of your neck and shoulders. One more time. And if you feel comfortable you can close your eyes and breathe normally without changing or controlling the breath, simply noticing that you are breathing and feeling the breath in your nostrils.

See if you can notice that as you inhale the air feels cooler in your nostrils and that as you exhale, it feels warmer.

Still staying with natural breathing,  move your attention to your belly and feel how your belly rises and falls as you inhale and exhale. See if you can hold your attention here one breath at a time.

If thoughts are flooding in and your mind feels busy and distracted, that’s perfectly normal, don’t be hard on yourself and push the thought away, just notice what the thought is and come back to feeling the breathing in your belly.

As you start to notice the breath, you might notice where you are holding tension in the body. Just feel like you are relaxing those parts.

And stay with the natural breath - inhale and exhale.

Breathing in and breathing out.

Sometimes you might feel feelings coming up, just let it come to the surface, and come back to the breath.

The feeling of the breath in your belly is your safe space, it brings a feeling of peace and stillness.

Thoughts can come, thoughts can go, they are not you.

Emotions can come, emotions can go, they are not you.

The breath is giving you life, strength and peace.

Now on your own, just practice feeling the breath and practice coming back when the mind wanders.

When you are ready, slowly come back and open your eyes, still keeping the feeling of peace with you and knowing that the feeling is always there right inside you and that you can connect to it with your breath.

When to practice:

Every morning for 5 minutes gradually building up to 15- 20 mins.

Enjoy and let us know how it went.

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