Simplicity of Breath

A deep breath is a tool that can help you deeply ground into your body anytime. We do this intuitively with people when they are stressed or worried. One of the first things we say to them is, "take a deep breath!”

The way you are breathing is a mirror of the state of your mind. If your breath is shallow and irregular, it’s likely your mind is distracted. If your breath is deep and rhythmic, it’s likely your mind is focused and relaxed.

Notice the connection between your mind and body as you sit in stillness and breathe deeply for 2-3 minutes.


MOVE

Inhale as much air as you can through your nose and hold the breath a moment.
Exhale completely through your nose.

Inhale again, your rib cage expanding, filling your lungs like a balloon. 
Exhale and release any tension in your jaw, shoulders, or anywhere else in your body.

Inhale through your nose again. Sense the temperature of the air as it comes in your nostrils. 
Exhale. Feel the texture of the air as it comes out.

Continue doing this for 2-3 minutes.

When complete, allow your breathing to return to normal, and spend a moment in stillness to notice any changes in your body after a couple minutes of deep breath.


WATCH

Here is a video to guide you through a breath exercise. As you breathe along with the video, listen to the sound of your breath rhythmically going in and out like the waves in the ocean.


REFLECT

Take a deep breath right now. How does it feel in your body when you pay attention to the sensation of your breath going in and out of your body? 

Do you have any ideas for ways that you can bring more awareness of your breath into your day? Could you take 10 deep breaths before you make any phone call? At red lights? Could you do a breathing exercise first thing in the morning or on the subway? What would they be?