Do you feel like life is closing in on you and you can hardly catch your breath?
Is your mind and body racing to keep up with the fast paced, demanding stress of life?
Do you sometimes feel like there’s no way out? Or if you can just get to next Wednesday, you’ll be fine?
Here’s a way to step out of the chaos and get back into balance. It’s called 36 Breaths and we use it to train Therapeutic Touch practitioners how to focus, balance, and center their minds, bodies and spirits. It only takes a few minutes and you can do it anywhere. The key to slowing your mind and body is through your breath. With practice, you’ll be able to get into calm and balance in only two or three breaths.
Here’s How to Do 36 Breaths
Sit comfortably with your feet on the floor or ground, back straight, head up, a little smile on you face, eyes softened or closed, and your hands in your lap.
Take a breath in through your nose and exhale slowly. Imagine you are sending that breath across the room and touching the opposite wall. Take another breath and this time slowly exhale it into the floor between your feet, allowing it to take all the tension in your body with it. You may feel like you are sinking down, getting heavy. That is very good.
Now breathe normally. Count each breath (inhale and exhale) as one breath. Start counting each breath until you reach 36 Breaths.
Suggestions for Best Practice
- If you lose count or skip a number, you must start over from one. This helps to train your mind to focus.
- As you breathe, observe each breath without judgement. Where do you feel it? What parts of your body are moving? How loud is your breath? Don’t try to make the breath do or be anything.
- Keep focused on the breath. If another type of thought comes, that’s okay, just go back to the breath and let the thought pass on.
- When you reach 36 Breaths, take another breath with a long, slow exhale, open your eyes and notice the change in your body, mind, and spirit.
- Go about the rest of your day refreshed, calm and in balance.
That’s all there is to it. Well, not exactly. There are amazing things going on emotionally, and physiologically. That’s how holistic practices work, simple, yet profound. For instance, you may notice that at first your breath is in your chest, but as you continue, your breath automatically moves to your belly and it starts to expand and become deeper, bringing more oxygen to your brain and tissues. You start to feel calm, relaxed, and refreshed. Your body knows how to care for you. Learn to allow it to do its thing.
So many of us are not in touch with our body, we live in our mind. This is a great way to learn to know and love your awesome, marvelous body. You’ll be able to use your breath to calm and balance yourself anytime, anywhere. Perhaps even with only a sigh.
I invite you to share your thoughts and experiences on the Shift Into Balance Facebook Page and LinkedIn.