These Breathing Exercises Will Help You Reconnect to Your Life Force
Have you ever been in the presence of a sleeping baby? They radiate an energy of peace and serenity, and it washes over you. Notice how they cultivate this tranquility? Watch how they breathe. Watch how they take full inhales, and full exhales. Their little tummies expand and contract. They allow the air to flow through their entire body delivering much needed fresh oxygen, nurturing their physical bodies, and caring for their spiritual and emotional well-being.
Breathing came naturally to us, then as we grew up, faced traumas, and started building walls to protect ourselves, we unconsciously cut off our natural breath. We tightened up, in response to difficult and stressful situations. We sucked our stomachs in, in response to societal pressures to be thin. We shortened and quickened our breath, in response to the fast-paced, go-go-go attitude of our modern world. We forgot how to breathe, how to allow the energy of our emotions to move.
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We have learned how to hold onto what keeps us stuck.
Prolonged effects of improper breathing can cause tension in the body, amplified stress, high blood pressure, weaker stamina during physical activity, decreased energy, and slower brain function.
Take note of how you breathe in your current state. If your chest expands, but your stomach/diaphragm does not, your breath is too shallow. Just like a baby, your stomach should expand and contract. The air needs to flow deep into your belly. If your jaw is tight, you are constricting the passage and flow. Try breathing through your nose and out your mouth to relax the jaw. Wherever you are is okay. Just take note of it and set an intention for where you want to be.
Your breath is your connection to life force, to air, to the universal flow of energy. Let’s remember how to tap into this healing, calming, and rejuvenating power. Proper breath also allows you to go deeper into meditation. It becomes the first step to connecting to spirit, your higher self, and your intuition. When we breathe, and we focus on our breath, we enter oneness, we become sensitive to energy, the unseen, and our own inner voice. We can tune into our needs and the messages our bodies try to send us.
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Let’s remember how to breathe.
Below, two visual meditations to help you come back to your breath.
Breath of White Light
- Sit comfortably and begin to breathe in and out of your nose.
- Visualize a white light passing through your nose as you inhale.
- Visualize smog exiting your nose or your mouth as you exhale.
The intention of this meditation is to amplify the healing power of the breath; the white light will purify your spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental bodies. If you have a lot of mind chatter, visualize the white light flooding your head, and clearing your thoughts. If you feel pain in your back, visualize the white light moving the dense energies from your back, and out through your exhale. If you are feeling lethargic, visualize the white light energizing every cell of your being and bringing you back to life.
Breath of the Ocean
If you can bring yourself to the ocean for this meditation, even better. If not, visualize it.
- Find a relatively quiet and peaceful area of the ocean.
- Stand strongly and begin to breathe in and out of your nose.
- As the waves come crashing in, consciously inhale.
- As the waves recede, consciously exhale.
- Focus on one set of waves or multiple sets—practice with different rhythms and speeds. Breathe with the ocean.
The intention of this meditation is to find the rhythm of your breath through mother nature. Get into the flow, as everything in nature is cyclical. Practice this awareness, experiment with methods of breathing that work for you, and do not be discouraged if your breath does not meet your expectation on your first try. This is an exercise and a discipline. The only comparisons you should be making are with yourself, and your progress. You will know when you feel the difference.
Return to the natural flow of your breath. Before you know it, you’ll be breathing like a baby.
Art by Emma Rodriguez