Just Breathe...

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Just fucking breathe.... sounds simple but do we really know how to just breathe and do we teach our children to breathe properly.

Our breath is always present always with us whatever we are doing and wherever we are. It is something that we do automatically and literally we can do it in our sleep!

I’ve just been sitting waiting rather impatiently for Georgina to go to sleep telling her to close her eyes and breathe (just fucking breathe) but have I ever explained how to take deep breaths or the benefits of them? Probably not I’ve just expected her to know because I have taught myself and I talk about it. So my mini weekend project is to teach my girls about breath.

Do you need some tips? Detailed below are three techniques to get you started.....

  • Square or Box Breathing Technique

Take a comfortable seat where your spine is straight and upright. It can be the floor on a cushion, a chair, edge of the bed. It doesn’t matter where you sit, just sit up straight.

INHALE slowly through the nose to a count of four. (Count silently in your head.)

  • HOLD your breath for a count of four.

  • EXHALE slowing through the nose to a count of four.

  • HOLD your breath for a count of four.

  • REPEAT the pattern – INHALE 4, HOLD 4, EXHALE 4, HOLD 4 for about five minutes or as long as you can or need.

  • Notice how you feel.

Once you practice this method a few times, you can even use it anywhere.

  • Affirmation Breathing Technique

This is one so simple you can really practice anywhere, anytime.

  • As you slowly INHALE through your nose, say silently to yourself, “I am . . .”

  • PAUSE briefly (about a second).

  • As you EXHALE, silently say, “ . . . calm and relaxed.”

  • REPEAT the pattern – INHALE, “I am . . .” EXHALE, “ . . . calm and relaxed.”

Repeat until you actually feel calm and relaxed or you run out of time!

  • Tension Release Technique

When you need to shake off the day try this.

Sit on a cushion on the floor if that is comfortable. Allow your arms to hang by your sides with your hands to lightly touching the floor and eyes closed. (If you can’t sit on the floor, a chair is fine. Allow your hands to hang by your sides and imagine they have a connection with the floor, with a string, or beam of light.)

  • As you INHALE slowly through your nose, focus on the middle of your chest, the heart centre.

  • Briefly HOLD the breath in, and silently say to yourself, “I am releasing all negative tension.”

  • As you slowly EXHALE through the nose, visualise tension flowing out from your chest, past your shoulders, down your arms and fingers to the ground and away. (You can visualise the tension as black smoke or green slime)

  • REPEAT this pattern for 5-10 rounds of breath or until you feel lighter and more relaxed.

  • After your last EXHALE of the exercise, SHAKE your hands and fingers a few times to release any residue.

If in doubt just breathe and focus on the sensation of your breath coming into and leaving your body.

karen whybrow