body & breath
“The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life.”
Nature gifts us with the most amazing home in which to live - our body. One to be deeply loved and appreciated as it is the only one we have. Our body provides us with the awe-inspiring ability to explore our life, our majestic world, and all that these offer. When we truly recognise the immense beauty of what nature has provided us with we become transformed.
Our vitality is directly proportional to the input it receives in the form of nourishment from food, the environment, sleep and of course the quality of our breath. All of this is critical to the amount of lifeforce our bodies have.
In focusing on Body & Breath, we find that we can more often perceive what is happening around us with clarity and sharpness. Our senses are clearer. Our body is more open to experiencing all that is around us, through touch, movement, and exploration. We learn that our breath is what brings our body to life, and that it is our one constant through the entirety of our existence. We see that having a deep, relaxed and even-paced breath greatly improves our body’s health and resilience, and powerfully supports us in maintaining an Open Heart and Calm Mind. Our practice of focusing on our body and breath, and in them dancing together, we enjoy an uplift in our quality of life in ways we could not have believed, but now are able to enjoy as something which is always here available to us.
In exploring Body & Breath, here are some practices to get you started...
How to relax your body
Having a relaxed body is deeply nourishing for us, and can be overlooked in the demands of our day-to-day lives. 7/11 breathing is a simple and powerful tool to use whenever you can to take your body into a more relaxed state, which in turn will help you access a better quality of life.
Sit in an upright position, and focus on your breath.
Breathe in for a count of 7.
Breathe out for a count of 11.
When you are breathing, focus on breathing with your belly.
This feels like you are pushing your belly out on the inhale and relaxing it back in on the exhale.
If you find that the count of 7/11 is uncomfortable, then simple drop the count to 5/9 or 3/5 instead.
Five or ten minutes of this breathing is incredibly powerful in relaxing and vitalising your body, but even two minutes taken in-between your daily tasks brings benefit.
Morning Awakens your Body
How we start our morning sets the tone for how we live that day. From the quality of thought first thing, to how we move, we are making choices that either support us or not.
On waking, many people choose a yoga practice that includes sun salutations and pranayama but directly on waking, or in your early morning shower, we also suggest you do some simple stretching practice to open and enliven the body and prepare for the day to come.
Awaken the body with awareness. Remembering this body is here and is going to help you through the whole day. By doing some practices for your particular and unique body you will help it start the day strong. You will help yourself move from the state of sleep more fully into your body, helping you be more grounded and centred, and not just in your mind, before you step out into the world where we get pulled by all the forces around us.
Only you will know what your particular body needs. Your practice will be unique to you and even 5-10 minutes per day will bring huge benefits. Here are some ideas for you to explore, remembering that everyone's body is unique to them, and it is worth exploring what your body responds most fully to.
Explore what works for you, and enjoy your exploration.
When we say self-care, what does that mean to you? Taking time out to pursue something that energises you? Enjoying a bubble bath? Choosing your friends carefully? Self massage with beautifully scented oils? An early night? Giving yourself time to be by yourself.
Does your self-care inspire you? Have you even brought conscious attention to it?
When you think of what you do to care for yourself, do you feel energised and happy, or slightly let down, or worse? Is it mediocre or wonderful? Is it an obligation or inspiring? In all of the things of your life that you allocate resources to, in both time and money, what’s your budget for looking after yourself?
If you were to up the standards of your self-care to inspiring levels, what would you begin to do differently that would allow your whole body and mind to light up in gratitude?