Breath is the inspiration and blueprint for all movement in life.
When we breathe well, fully and deeply, we can move and be well. Here
are some of the best breathing exercises to help you in your daily life,
whether you need to release anxiety or stoke your inner fire...
Awaken and Energise
This is a simple but powerful practice that connects us to the earth, enabling us to feel it's energy and vitality moving up through our bodies and out again.
1. Sit comfortably on a chair or cushion placed on
the ground, in an easy and upright position. Anchor through your pelvis
and let your crown softly rise. Rest your hands in your lap, one palm
lying on top of the other. Relax and soften your facial muscles and let
your eyes close.
2. Become aware of your breath and let the light of your awareness shine into your breathing.
3. On your next inhalation, raise your hands in
front of your navel with the fingertips almost touching, feeling the
energy rising through your body, as you float your hands up in front of
4. When the in breath is naturally complete, pause
and move your hands apart, opening them up and out in a large V shape.
Let your chest and face softly life towards the sky.
5. Feel your body full of energy and light as your breath in the whole sky.
6. As you slowly exhale, let go of the sky and bring
your breath and arms back down to earth, resting your hands back in
your lap. Pause for a moment to feel the depth of your exhalation and
support of the floor beneath you.
7. This is one complete round. Repeat 5-10 times,
then sit quietly for a few moments, feeling the energy and life flowing
Stoke your inner fire
This practice will stoke your inner fire and help to invigorate the abdominal organs, aid digestion and tone the core muscles.
1. Come to sit comfortably on a chair or cushion
placed on the ground, in an easy and upright position. Feel the
foundation of your pelvis rooting down. Softly lengthen through your
spine and ease your shoulders down to let your chest open.
2. Place your hands one in front of the other and turn your palms inwards to make gentle contact with your lower belly.
3. Relax and soften your facial muscles and let your eyes close.
4. Enjoy a few steady, deep breaths and then exhale completely.
5. Inhale deeply and vigorously, letting your belly bellow out into your hands.
6. Exhale with equal strength and draw you back, in and up, away from your hands.
7. Continue this for another 9 times, maintaining a
steady, even rhythm with equal inhalations and exhalations. These 10
breaths make one round of 'Bhastrika' (a breathing pattern used in
8. Practise another 2-4 rounds and sit quietly, allowing your breath to return to it's natural flow.
The following meditation helps to level and calm the breath, soothing the mind and releasing any anxiety and tension in the body.
1. Sit comfortably on a chair or cushion in an easy
and upright position. Relax, soften your facial muscles and let your
eyes close and settle here.
2. Become aware of your breath and notice how you
are breathing, without changing anything. Are you breathing through your
noise, mouth or both? How does your breath feel? Is it short or long?
Is it shallow or deep? Take a few deep breaths and accept the breath for
how it is. Letting it be.
3. On your next exhalation breathe out completely.
Gently, inhale deeply through your nose, feeling when you are full and
then softly exhaling through your mouth, emptying your lungs completely
and sighing out.
Repeat 2-4 times, letting your mind and body soften on each breath.
4. Now let your breath flow steadily through your
nose. Allow each out breath to come to its natural end, and then gently
open to each in breath.
5. When your attention moves away from your breath
and begins to focus on other things, observe that this has happened and
be aware of what you are thinking and feeling. Simply notice the
thoughts and accompanying feelings that arise. Notice the physical
changes without altering anything. Can you watch what happens? Can you
observe your own thoughts and feelings? Be aware that these thoughts and
feelings are a natural response to the situation you find yourself in.
6. Gently bring your attention back to your breath
and its flow. Breathe in and out fully and completely, letting each
breath come to its natural and complete end.
your mind wanders, notice this and witness the thoughts and feelings.
Breathe with them and know that they are not you. Gently bring your
awareness back to the natural flow of your breath