Are you alive? Prove it.
Are you breathing?
To be alive is to breathe and to not breathe is to not live.
We know it’s hard to be present all the time; specially during these crazy times. But there are simple techniques out there to help us be more present, more centered, and more calm. By focusing on our breath we can take our attention directly to this very moment and away from all of the thoughts crashing around us. Though the mind may wonder, these tools help us bring our attention back so we can breathe and live in this present moment. If you struggle (just like we do) to keep your attention on the breath, here's a couple of our favorite breathing exercises that help us the most:
One of the first and simplest breathing exercises we learned is to simply bring your attention to the tip of the nose and follow your breath in and out. Starting at the spot just where it enters the nose, following the crisp, cool air down as it passes the throat into the lungs; expanding the belly and chest. Then at the very top of the inhalation, how things suddenly reverse and shift in the opposite direction; relaxing your ribs and abdomen, slowly passing through the throat and out the nose, suddenly warm and moist. This has been a true help and we always find it useful to be here now.
One of our favorite ways to keep calm is to simply count down from 10, and then start over, and over, and over, and over again; however many times are necessary. If you realize your mind has wondered just start at 10 and work your way down. Whether you count each breath or you just continuously count as you breathe, doesn't really matter. Try both and see what feels best for you. We often switch between both, but honestly prefer to count each breath. This simple, yet powerful technique has been one that has helped us throughout the years return to the center of being.
One of our favorite ways to be present in the moment is to just simply count the next 5 breaths that enter the body, in whatever state those breaths may be. Sometimes this will be a quick exercise (if you are breathing quickly) or a slow one (if you are breathing slower). Whatever the case may be at the end of that 5th count we feel different, and often crave more! When we crave more we often either count another 5 or just lead right into one of the prior two exercises we just mentioned. This is a great primer for the other two exercises because it doesn't make you change anything, but simply observe what is.
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, you can always use these to access your breath. The breath is the window to the state of the Soul; the slower and more calm we breathe, the more peace and calm we will be able to hold. We have had great success with these techniques and we just wanted to share them with you in the hopes of you having a great day!