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Conscious Breathing

Friday, November 30, 2007

Exploring Breath Work may help you find a deeper understanding of and better experience with the Principle and Sutra Exercise for today (Friday).

There will always be situations and circumstances in your life when someone will cross some personal boundary, triggering a emotional response. You can use Breath Work to help release that tension and diffuse those initial feelings of anger and fear.

Here is an idea for using Prayer Beads as "Breath Beads":

Begin by creating a quiet or sacred time each day to do your deep breathing. Hold your beads in your hand while sitting in a chair with both feet on the floor. Scan your body for any areas of tension or holding. Once you have identified these areas, take in a big breath of air and release it with a sigh. As you take this 'cleansing breath', see the tension and the thoughts about your day leaving your body. Your breathing practice will take you through a series of deep breaths.

Begin each breath by inhaling slowly through your nose and exhaling through your mouth, as if you are blowing out a candle. Take a moment to pause at the top of every breath and after every exhale. Use your thumb and forefinger to slide past a bead after you have completed a breath. Allow the beads to keep track of how many breaths you have taken so that all of your focus is on the way in which the breath feels as it moves through your body.

At any time during the day, when you need a meditative moment, or feel a need to step back from a situation or a person, run your fingers over each bead as you take a slow, deep, rhythmic breath. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth as if you are blowing out a candle. Relax your body with each breath.

You can wear your beads, and be use them as a reminder throughout the day to stop, take a moment to regroup, and let go of anything you are holding on to (whether it be stress, emotion or physical pain).

Conscious breathing can also be used as a tool that helps us to return to our center. Use the quiet intervals throughout your day to retrieve any scattered energy you have released. With each breath that you take, practice saying the following: on the inhale say, "Receive", and on the exhale say, "Release". Use your breath to bring in Peace and on the exhale release anything you no longer need (i.e. fear, anger, judgment, etc.).

If you are experiencing physical pain, picture the breath going directly into the affected area. Pain is a result of blocked energy. See the breath dissipating the congested energy and bringing light into that part of your body.

Using breath work can assist you in being more present and grounded. If used consciously, breathing can help us to release old patterns and behaviors. It allows us to pause and make choices from a calmer place instead of being at the effect of the circumstances in our life.

If you don't have prayer beads, or if you don't want to use your rosary or mala for anything other than prayer, any necklace or bracelet made with beads of a manageable size can be used, or you could create your own "breath beads."


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