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Breathe Happy

Some people call it the work-life balance - the superwoman ability to do it all: executive, mother, lover and fashionista who never eats fast food, schedules a monthly facial and does the latest fitness thing.....well!

I believe it’s far more simple, more subtle. To be a real superwoman we just need to be able to go home, to the home inside ourselves, away from the chariot of horses that is our mind and into our body, that safe place that holds all the answers if we learn how to tune in and listen. To ‘feel’ it rather than ‘think’ it.

This certainly works for me when I feel unravelled by life. Today my head was too frazzled to write this, until I lay on my bedroom floor, breathing consciously for the last half hour.

In my experience, when we reconnect with ourselves - and there are lots of ways to do this - not only do challenges seem less; with time, life just seems richer. Focusing on our breathing is a good place to start.

I’m no expert in breathing techniques, and I’ve learnt it can indeed be quite technical to properly use our breath to boost physical health, emotional balance, even to stoke our libidos. And it takes a bit of practice until it feels like coming ‘home.’

I’m always aware of how physical patterns mirror emotional ones and vice versa. Many people have shallow breathing that stays in their chest. This often means they are cut off from their body beneath their diaphragm, physically and emotionally: holding themselves back in life, or even not getting the most out of sex or just not wanting it!

So let’s connect with our body, breathe deeper, down into our bellies and get rooted. Our ‘root’ or base chakra in our pelvic area is all about survival, the base from which everything else grows. My teacher taught me this ‘grounding’ breath that helps to connect with the base chakra and is great for those of us who live in our heads:

Grounding Breath

  • Sit on the edge of a chair with feet flat on the floor and back upright, or sit cross-legged on a cushion on a chair or floor - so that your pelvis tilts forward and your belly protrudes.
  • Pull the air downwards through your throat rather than sniffing air in through your nostrils. You can still do this with a closed mouth. You may make weird sounds and cough involuntarily at the beginning, which is quite normal as the air works its way through the upper chest area that can often be tight.
  • Take consecutive breaths to move the air deeper into your body. It takes practice to cultivate this technique.
  • As you draw your breath deeper into the belly, feel it swell, like a pregnant tummy or big fat Buddha! Think of your breath like an inflatable ball and let it rest a moment in the cradle of your pelvis before deflating it with your out-breath.
  • When I started this technique I felt sick and dizzy. Persevere as this soon passes as the flow starts to feel more normal - and you start to ‘feel’ more grounded.

In my experience, breath is a powerful tool and a good way into meditation. Not only that focused breathing brings more oxygen to the cells throughout our bodies and that includes the skin. So breathing benefits our complexion. All positive change within is reflected without - in a more open, more radiant face.

It’s easy to experiment with our breath. I’ve felt profound effects from other techniques too, such as ‘Transformational Breathing’ and ‘Butyeko Breathing’ - which are quite different from this ‘Grounding Breath’. I’ll share some insights and contacts for these in later blogs. 

Let your breath flow, breathe happy............