Breathe Deep, Deep Breath!
"Breathe deep, deep breath. Steady the breath to steady the mind, keep breathing until I feel that light shine. Breathe deep, deep breath. Inhale, exhale to release the stress. Breathe deep, deep breath." MC Yogi
Happy Day my Dancing Friends!!
This morning as I drew in a breath of the sweet crisp October air, I was reminded of the wonderful gift of my breath. As my morning progressed, I was continually reminded about this beautiful gift. When I opened my Daily Word, the inspiration for today, October 1, is "My every breath is a prayer". A reminder that no matter what is going on in my world, if I am in awareness of my breath, life slows down and reconnects me to the moment and what is sacred to me. I also picked my weekly inspiration card that you see above, Breathe Deeply. So as I moved to my Yoga mat, I turned on MC Yogi's song "Breathe Deep" and allowed my breath to create the dance inside and outside my body.
If today all that we do is consciously inhale and exhale and be with our breath, it will be a GREAT day! Paying attention to our breath is one of the easiest ways to track health and wellness, to nourish and cleanse our body, emotions, mind and spirit, and to release so we can receive. Healthy diaphragmatic breathing and awareness to our breath can help us stay calm and steady, give us clarity to our thoughts, support our digestion, give us energy and get us excited about life. Some of the ways in our Nia and Yoga classes we engage our breath is with sound, laughter and by connecting all our moves, fast or slow, with our breath.
Here are 5 "breathing" exercises I like to do:
1. Breath of Joy: Standing or sitting, inhale 3 times (like you are sniffing your favorite flower) through your nose, reaching your arms higher above your head with each sniff. Then release one cleansing full exhale through your mouth with the sound of :AHHH" as you float your arms down by your side.
2. Nadi Shodhana/Alternate Nostril Breathing: Click HERE to practice this wonderful technique that cleanses and creates calm in our nervous system.
3. Laughing sit ups: Do you favorite sit up, and every time you exhale or come into the contraction/crunch, LAUGH!! It is so much fun and I promise you may be able to do more than you normally do!! And it is very fun to do with your pet. My Rocket loves it!!
4. Smell the moment, smell the roses: Open your arms wide at heart level and act as if you are gathering a bouquet of flowers, your favorite. Draw them in close and smell. Breathe Deep. Deep breath! AHHH. If you are with someone, offer the bouquet to them! HA HA!!!
5. 3 Part Breath: One of the best ways to learn and promote diaphragmatic breathing is through this technique. It is also a great way to end and/or start your day. The “three parts” are your belly, lower rib cage and upper chest.
a. Place both hands on your lower belly and breathe into your lower belly. Allow the inhale to go there 1st.
b. After a few rounds, move your left hand to your lower ribcage and on your inhale, first fill your belly and then your lower rib cage (where you left hand is). On the exhale, reverse the flow.
c. After a few rounds, move your left hand to the top of your chest. As you inhale first fill your belly, then your lower rib cage and then your upper chest (where your left hand is). On your exhale, reverse the flow; upper chest, lower ribcage, belly.
d. Do step c several rounds and then release your hands and allow the flow of your breath to either relax you to sleep or energize you for the start of your day.
Ahh...Breathe Deep, Deep Breath! Wishing you a JOY filled week. I hope to see you in my classes. HERE is my schedule for this week.
And here is a video of MC Yogi's song!