Breathing: A Selfcare Practice to Connect to the Universe Within
The world spins at such a fast clip that it’s easy to get spun out and lose your Self. We can feel this separation as uneasiness or agitation. Take these tangible sensations as cues to pause so you can realign your energy. Literally, stop. Feel into your physical body and then allow yourself to release into the pull of gravity, reconnecting with the physical world here and now. Next, take a moment to look up and out or choose to close your eyes and turn inward. You might already feel your body soften or you may hear yourself exhale. Bring your attention to your breath and watch your body being breathed - inhaling and exhaling all on its own. As the body exhales, feel yourself let go as you surrender to the moment. Let the sound and rhythm of your breath soothe you.
Your breath is the gateway to a vast universe that lies within the physical body. By skillfully cultivating and sculpting the breath, you have the power to change your physiology and neurology, altering how you feel and your state of being. Depending upon which breath technique is used, you can shift from agitation to calmness, from distracted to focused, or from lethargic to energized.
One calming and accessible technique is diaphragmatic breathing, where you breathe through the nose into the low belly, in a sense, bypassing the ribcage. Diaphragmatic breathing encourages full oxygen exchange, regulates your heartbeat, and reduces anxiety and stress.
It is best to practice lying down, but diaphragmatic breathing can also be done standing or sitting. To try it:
- Place one hand on your abdomen and one hand on your chest.
- Breathe in slowly through your nose directing your breath toward the low belly without forcing. You will feel the abdomen rise while the chest remains still.
- Let the exhale be easy and natural.
Once you feel comfortable belly breathing, start shaping the breath.
- Continue breathing diaphragmatically.
- Begin counting the length of your inhalation and exhalation.
- Gently and equally lengthen the inhale and exhale without causing stress or anxiety.
- Follow the path of the breath with the mind’s eye and allow the mind to rest in its rhythm.
- In time, lengthen the exhalation so that eventually it becomes twice as long as the inhalation.
Practice 5-10 minutes a day to reconnect with your Self and to change your state of being.
This wonderful information is shared by Sara Tuminello
Sara Tuminello is an artist and designer who enjoys weaving together a variety of disciplines. She is the creator of the empowering and supportive Haven Oracle Deck — a set of universal affirmations born from her relationship with yoga and breathwork. She shares these transformational tools in accessible private and weekly group yoga classes.