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  • Fe Robinson

Mindful breathing

Today, I want to talk about breathing. Simple? yes. Easy to optimise? No, not for most of us. Life-changing? Potentially.

"In reality, breath and body are so intimately related that it is difficult to isolate or even speak of one in the absence of the other. One is always a reflection of the other...if your awareness of body is limited, breath will likewise be limited and restrained." Will Johnson

We all breathe, continuously, all our lives. The quality of our breath can vary vastly however. As life knocks us, presenting challenges and upsets big and small, we each have a tendency to tighten up, to brace ourselves, to become just a little less free.

When you do this, your breathing becomes less free too. It is more constrained, less deep, less open, and less energising. The impact of this is that energy becomes blocked. I'm guessing there are very few of us who have not felt tight, tense muscles from time to time. It's like a kind of energetic armour we unintentionally put up to protect ourselves, yet unfortunately its impact long term is the opposite.

Being tight and tense makes you vulnerable. It means life can't flow through you. You become brittle, you are more likely to snap than to sway and flex. This is reflected in emotions too, a tightness that reduces your generosity of spirit, that locks up against those around you, perhaps doubting intentions and being less forgiving of mistakes. We do this to ourselves as much as to other people.

The antidote to this is more simple than you might imagine. A good first step is to begin to breathe more deeply, mindful of your body as you do so. When you shine the light of your attention on your body it has the consequence of allowing tension to release, leaving you more able to respond spontaneously to what is happening here and now.

Take 10 minutes a day to breathe. To just breathe. You might do this lying down, or sitting up. I suggest a good ways is to place your hands on your belly, and focus on your breathe filling it up as you breathe in, and feeling it drop as you breathe out. As you become more confident with this you might also want to add breathing into your mid-chest, and then the top of your chest behind your collarbone, and finally into all three at once, taking deep, deep breathes. If this sounds a bit much, just gift your body 10 minutes of your attention breathing into your tummy, just being there, noticing how your body responds.

If you'd like support in connecting to yourself more fully and releasing past hurts that are stored up inside you, get in touch on 0191 3720318


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