“Stop breathe look around, and embrace the miracle of each day, the miracle of life.” – Jeffrey A White
Everything begins with the breath and ends with the breath.
In yoga we refer to the breath as prana, a Sanskrit word for life force or life energy and the art of consciously affecting or controlling our breath is known as pranayama.
Prana enters the body through breathing and is sent to every cell through the circulatory system.
As can be clearly seen the breath is critical for the sustenance of life. Flowing from this the quality of our breathing also effects the functioning of our brain and our emotions.
Once you are conscious of the important role the breath plays in our physical and mental wellbeing it makes sense to take time to do some conscious breathing exercises to give our system an extra boost and allow our minds to relax and support the creative flow of thoughts and expressions.
Here is a fun breathing exercise that engages the thoughts with the breath.
Breath of Love
Sit in a comfortable seated position on the floor with your hands gently resting on your knees, palms facing upwards or in a mudra position. A popular mudra is the ‘chin’ mudra, where the first finger and thumb are touching and the palms gently opening upwards. A mudra is a hand position in yoga which means “lock” or “seal”. In yogic science, each area of the hand relates to a certain area of the brain. In applying pressure to the fingers and hands, the related brain areas are stimulated. The chin mudra corresponds to the area that activates wisdom and knowledge.
Gently breathing in and out, take a moment to settle your mind and body.
You may sit with your eyes open or close, which ever feels the most comfortable. Many like to close their eyes, as it reduces distractions on the mind from one’s surrounding.
Now begin the breathing exercise.
Take a deep breath in all the way down to your stomach for a count of 3. As you are breathing in think of something or someone that you feel great love towards. Allow this feeling of love to flow through your entire body.
Hold this image in your mind’s eye for a count of 2 or 4 which ever feels comfortable.
Then gently breathe out for a count of 6 and as you breathe out imagine you are a big bright shinny beacon of love radiating love out into the world.
Repeat this breathing exercise for three to five minutes and observe how your body feels. You may feel warm energised light bright afterwards.
As can be seen from the above breathing exercise our breath plays a key role in how we feel and the health of our body, therefor as you go through your day, observe your breath and practise breathing more deeply.
Especially at times when you may be feeling anxious or nervous, taking a few deep breaths all the way down to your stomach and breath out slowly. This will help to calm your mind, body and nerves and support the creative flow of new ideas.