Breathing is a physical reflection of the mind and the skill of dealing with your breath lets you deal with your thoughts as well.
Before starting the 4 part of our “from consumerism to creativity” saga let us sum up some crucial points from the previous three:
- A lot of the human sufferings, attachment to things and consumerism are caused by Ego, an artificial creature of the mind which doesn’t let us see who we really are – creative and unconditionally happy beings.
- Our true essence is an inner silence. The way to conscious life starts with discovering the silence.
- Meditation is one of the tools to calm down your mind and reach the stillness.
Today we are going to tell you about one more tool – breathing control.
Mostly we don’t care about the breathing process since it goes automatically, but if you focus right now on observing your breath you will notice that it is shallow, rapid and only a third of your lungs is involved to the work. Then try to take a deep slow breath, hold it for three seconds and start gradually let the air out. Even this simple exercise helps you to reduce tension in the chest and shoulders, decrease your anxiousness and slow down the heart beating. Focusing on breathing is one of the best instruments to stay in the Present moment.
Though there are a lot of special breathing techniques such as holotropic breathwork or different types of pranayama you can start with an easy daily practice of conscious breathing. It means concentrating on nothing but the breath: sit down comfortably, close your eyes and for a few minutes breathe deeply with all your lungs trying to exhale twice as longer as to inhale. Also you can visualize an energy flow going through your body. The mind will try to draw you away, don’t fight it – your aim is to breath properly, so just let the thoughts come and go and keep returning to the state of being aware of your breath. 10-15 minutes of practicing it every day can dramatically change your life within 3-4 months.
One more way to calm down your mind comes from hatha yoga and is called anulom vilom pranayma. It is a technique of balancing two main energy channels in your body which our vital energy – prana – goes through. Anulom vilom pranayama is an alternate nostril breathing which makes overwhelming physical and mental changes ate regular practicing of it. Here is the video explaining the technique.
I would like to end up with the words of Leo Babauta, a creator of the blog Zen Habits:
If you feel overwhelmed, breathe. It will calm you and release the tensions.
If you are worried about something coming up, or caught up in something that already happened, breathe. It will bring you back to the present.
If you are moving too fast, breathe. It will remind you to slow down, and enjoy life more.
Breathe, and enjoy each moment of this life. They’re too fleeting and few to waste.
Here is a sneak peek for the 2 parts left: the fifth one will tell you about the Law of Giving and how it keeps the abundance of the universe circulating in our lives; the last part will sum up the information you’ve got and give you a manual for combining spiritual practices with your day-to-day life.
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