Our breath is the gift of Life. It is the Divine driving force behind how we live, eat, play and offer our gifts here on this Earth. It is given freely to us, we can welcome and allow ourselves to be breathed and receive the support that is all around us in all places and all times.
As you know, there is a reciprocal system with Earth’s plants that allows us all to breathe. As we give off CO2, the plants breathe it in and give out O2 and the cycle repeats. Reciprocity always feels good.
What if we extended that reciprocity to the invisible source of this breath, by consciously co-creating with it and breathing with gratitude and intention for this gift of life.
We all know what it’s like to receive a serendipitous gift or experience and we all know what it’s like when we consciously co-create with the world around us – more magic happens!
So what would it be like to bring greater awareness and intention to your breath regularly? Well when the practice of breathing techniques is properly done, (“There’s a proper way?” I hear you asking. Yes, there is.) you may experience wonderful benefits such as the:
- Strengthening of your immune system
- Calming of your mind
- Heightened ability to focus and stay present
- Gift of more energy.
This article could be about all the advanced yogic pranayama practices such as, anulom vilom pranayama, and there’s plenty of articles out there if that’s what you’re looking for. However, this is your guide of 5 simple breathing techniques to integrate into your daily life that will forever change how you feel, live, lead, relate, and run your business.
The greatest thing is that you have the power to own your breath. You can breathe unconsciously, short, shallow, held, which will create anxiety, or with awareness, full, deep, long breaths with ease which support your optimal wellness and functionality.
Breath awareness naturally creates presence, and in the present all that exists is your beingness. May we live and lead from that place.
5 Simple Life-Changing Daily Breathing Techniques:
1. Clearing Breath
This is the breath where you consciously choose to let it go. Whatever it is, you know it’s not serving you. You’ve held on to it long enough. Whether it’s your day, something that happened a long time ago or a few minutes ago, or the judgment that you somehow didn’t do a good enough job at something, let’s not carry that into the future with us.
Pause your doing, just be for a moment, acknowledge what’s no longer needed, take a deep breath, the deepest breath you’ve taken all day, hold it at the top of the inhale for a moment and then when you’re ready, let it all out with a big, audible, open mouth sigh. It sounds like “Ahhh…” Repeat as necessary. The key is giving yourself permission to release all that is no longer needed.
2. Gratitude Breath
This breath is a gift you give yourself as a way of giving back, as a way of appreciating the moment, and all the blessings in your life. Find yourself in a moment where it’s hard to acknowledge the good that’s all around? That’s ok, this breath will help you find it.
This breath is nice on its own or after a few of the above clearing breaths. Pause your doing, welcome yourself to the moment. Take a big, full, deep inhale, hold at the top, and on your exhale keep the mouth closed and the lips together as you exhale through the nose while making an audible “mmm…” sound. In doing so, allow yourself to simply arrive in a state of gratitude.
3. Presence Breath
The presence breath is one slow breath, full and deep, in the nose, filling up the low belly and out of the nose with the internal mantra, “I have arrived,” or “I am here now” and the eyes closed. At the top of the inhale there’s a slight pause, at the bottom of the exhale there is a slight pause, no rush, and then a return to effortless breathing.
This is a conscious breath that acknowledges, without judgment, that you were not present, and in the same turn uses the present moment to create that presence for yourself. Your conscious neutral awareness alone that you were not present is enough to bring you back, and the addition of a full deep breath only supports you in deepening into the moment.
4. Connection Breath
This simple breath is one of my favorite go-to’s and is meant to create a heightened connection to yourself as a channel for good, and to the all the supportive elements that surround you. You’re not alone ever, and I know sometimes it can feel that way for all of us, but the truth is there are an infinite number of energies out there working towards our highest good.
First, find your feet or your seat, and bring your awareness to the place where you are met by the Earth. Allow yourself to receive the support that is there for you, there’s nothing you need to do to deserve this, it is always here for you no matter where you go or what you do. Then, bring the awareness to the breath, no need to alter or change it just yet, for a few moments just observe.
When you’re ready, start to lengthen the breath and draw your next inhale up from the Earth, through your sitting bones or feet, holding the breath at the top in the heart center. Pause. Slowly exhale, releasing the breath out of your crown, the top of your head, and pause at the bottom of the exhale, fully emptying your body of all breath. Then take your next inhale down from the Sky, through your crown and into your heart, filling up completely and holding the breath at the top there for a moment. Then, slowly exhale releasing the breath down through your sitting bones or feet into the Earth. That’s one complete cycle. Repeat.
“Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts.” ~Thích Nhất Hạnh
5. Energizing Breath
This last breath is meant to energize you when you need a pick-me-up and to support you in deepening the communication with your body; so your mind, body and spirit are working as one strong unit, to move your blood and energy around and to eliminate stagnation of any kind. If you have adrenal fatigue, do this breath slower, or not at all.
Start standing, with hip-wide footing, knees micro-bent, tailbone tucked, heart lifted, back of the head long. Lift your arms up to the sky on the inhale and then on your exhale forcefully make the short sound “Hah!” with an open mouth where you draw the belly in fiercely and bend the elbows into your waist, drawing the arms down. Inhale, arms up, expand your torso with your breath, then exhale arms in expel all the breath with force and an audible sound. Repeat and quicken your pace, for 3-10 minutes.
I encourage you to listen to your body, not your mind, as the determining factor of which breath is needed and when. You know when something is in alignment with your highest good because you can feel harmony or dissonance in your body, tune in, listen, breathe. You’re a rockstar entrepreneur who does so much in your life. You deserve to take a breather. You got this!