“Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind”
Thich Nhat Hanh
Everything begins with the breath, mastering the breath helps to master life.
Being mindful of your breathing and practising healthy breathing habits supports both your mental and physical wellbeing.
When an individual is stressed or anxious their breathing becomes shallow.
Here is a breathing activity, to engage your mind and breath in when you are feeling anxious.
Directions for Take 5 Breathing Activity
Begin with palm open, fingers outstretched, take a deep breath in to the count of five. On count one curl the thumb into centre of the palm, two curl index fingers, continue curling each remaining finger, one at a time for each count 3, 4 5.
Your hand is now in a close fist, squeeze, hold breath comfortably for a moment, then breath out slowly to a count of 5, uncurling each finger to outstretched position at each count, starting with your little finger. count 1, and working your way round to your thumb, 2, 3, 4, 5, ending with an open palm,
Repeat Take 5 Breathing exercise for five rounds or for as many rounds as you require to assist in the reduction of feeling anxiety.
Have you previously heard the statement, ‘We Are One’. Our every thought, every action, every intention affects the whole of creation in all its entirety.
Have you ever wondered how can this be so? How can the whole universe in its vast infinite entirety be connected and the tinniest movement of a grain of sand impact the whole?
One simple example that demonstrates the interconnectedness of life expressed by nature is the following.
In the same way the human bodies flow with the sun and moon, when the sun goes down and the moon comes up, we choose to sleep. Flowers also rest when the sun goes down and the moon comes up as can be visibly seen from their closed petals in the early morning which opens with the day and the rising sun. Demonstrating a universal connected consciousness flowing.
With this awareness of life’s interconnectedness, grows the awareness to take responsibility of one’s actions, thoughts, intentions and the impact they are having overall.
The knowledge that each act and emotion shared has an impact on our personal being, the being of others, the planet we live on and the whole universe, brings our attention to being more mindful of each thought, action, emotion we emit.
A topic very much in the headlines now is the climate crisis planet earth is under. It is clear mother earth is reacting to all the man-made impact and she in return is creating waves of her own.
As Sir Isaac Newton famously stated in its simplest form ‘for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.’
With this awareness of the interconnected nature of our universe. Our mindful awareness also grows to be more conscious of our thoughts, actions and intentions in every given moment and how we are impacting our planet and the world.
This thought also highlights the ‘power of now’ for the current moment impacts equally on the past, present and future, illustrating the concept in now flows all of entirety.
In conclusion, know you matter, your thoughts emotions, actions all count. You are impacting your world. You have the power to choose the impact you make.
Blog Author: Dawattie Basdeo
Do you try to control the waves of life or are you happy to surf their crests?
No two seconds are the same. Life is in constant flow, constant change. From the instant we are conceived in the womb, our world is continuously changing.
In our material existence, body consciousness, we are consciously aware of the world within us and around us. We observe life is flow, life is change. When flow stops, life stops.
Just like a stream, if the water is unable to flow, it becomes stagnant and dies.
With the thought that change is part and parcel of life. There are also periods of time in our lives where we observe our surroundings and activities may flow to a certain rhythm. This rhythm becomes familiar and we find comfort in the familiar, however life’s rhythm changes as do the seasons around us. When there is change to the rhythm in which our life is flowing, we may not want it to change or we may be very happy for a change.
When there is a noticeable change in our lives, by which we may feel challenged, such as starting a new school, parents divorcing etc.
If we are able to accept change is part of life’s flow and acknowledge evolution and growth only comes through change. We become more open to change. We do not try to grasp and control the flow.
We allow the waters to run their course, we learn to go with the flow, and we trust in the flow of life. We trust our life’s journey.
There is a lovely song in ‘Magnificent Me Magnificent You – The Grand Canyon” children story and yoga activity book which shares this thought titled “The River of Life”
However, if you do struggle with change, mindfulness practice provides present moment awareness. Mastering present moment awareness allows you to engage fully with what is happening in the now and not be distracted by past or future thoughts.
If you are wondering how I personally manage change. I choose to enjoy life in the now, the past has gone and can not be changed and is all part of the present moment. The future, that yet to experience, I have dreams and hopes for new experiences and act in the now to bring these into my life. My focus is on what I am doing in the present moment, as I feel everything emanates in the now, the past, the present and the future.
I would love to hear your thoughts on change, please do share in our comments section below.
“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.