The Relaxing Breath
When our homes are full of hectic demands that need balancing, tasks to be completed before the next morning and problems to be resolved, the very idea of “relaxing” can seem to be like a joke... an impossibility for another day, another time. We are indeed confronted daily by a variety of pressing jobs that need finishing and often find we are at a loss to know how to manage. When these demands on us come at an unrelenting, day in day out, pace we can feel very ill at ease. “Stressed-out” is what we call this situation. So how can we relax in the face of the various stressors we experience?
Ultimately many aspects of life are naturally stressful. Like it or not we can’t wait for a holiday to have a relaxing day. Better to find relaxation in the midst of the activity, in the moment... and one of the best ways of achieving this is with what I call “The Relaxing Breath”. Now working with the breath is nothing new, and is central to many health movement systems like Yoga and Qi Gung. The Relaxing Breath gives instant relaxation and relief, and instant relief gives a sense of empowerment and reduction in anxiety about things in general, so reduces our worry and tension.
How does it work then? Well, first imagine your body is like a balloon of air. So we let a breath come in naturally, then gently push all the air out of the lungs, out of the balloon as if we were completely deflating it. As we do so slightly close your eyes (or have the feeling of softening your eyes if you need to keep the eyes open) and imagine all tension drops out of the body and dissolves into the surrounding space. So we sort of breathe the tension out of our skin. As we breathe out we allow all our muscles to soften and our spine to ease up imagine our internal organs relaxing. If you want you can let your body gently move, allowing the shoulders to drop, as the breath goes out. Now comes the revitalising bit... as the next breath comes in imagine vitality is breathing into your body... circulating to all the cells and body tissues.
That is all there is to it! Practice in this way for about 10 breaths two or three times a day to get the method... then you can use the practice whenever you feel tense or stressed out breathing the “relaxing breath” until you feel calm... I am sure you will find it will help. If you do it several times in the course of a busy day I feel confident you will have found a new way of keeping yourself fit, well and of course, relaxed.