Breathing, Connection and Mindfulness

Inhale, breathing in a new day

I’ve heard from several people recently that I’m a grounded person and simply being around me calms them down. I was thinking about what it was about me that others see that. Maybe it’s because I move slow and deliberately? Or maybe it’s because over the years I’ve trained my breathing to be much slower and deeper. I suppose people can sense that. They feel it and possibly unconsciously match their breathing to mine. There’s a lot to be said about syncing the breath. It can be intimate, but in this rushed rat race of the city, any close contact with each other feels intimate. So many feel disconnected from one another. I mean, who takes the time to do this; to purposefully connect with one another?  Brené Brown said it best:

“Connection, along with love and belonging, is why we are here, and it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.”

Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, Daring Greatly

 

This simple act of breathing mindfully is one small step in reducing stress and breathing in time with another person helps to keep you focused. Perform this simple test alone with me right now. Take a few moments to simply observe how you feel, right now at this moment.

Now. Breathe with me:

Inhale for 4…3…2…1… and exhale for 4…3…2…1.

Do that again.

Inhale for 4…3…2…1… and exhale for 4…3…2…1.

And again.

Inhale for 4…3…2…1… and exhale for 4…3…2…1.

Now observe – do you feel different? What changed?

If visuals help, check out and bookmark this gif from Tumblr: Breathing Exercise

Practicing breath exercises are an excellent start to mindfulness. If sitting still is difficult for you, doing gentle movements or specific positions can help you relax, gain mental clarity and increase awareness of your body. These movements may be based in dance, yoga or martial arts, whichever works best for you. In fact, my favourite mindful movement is through simply walking!

Speaking of breathing and yoga, I’ll close with this word cloud created by my Curvy Yoga teacher Anna Guest-Jelley. All the words are from her students, that is, our words on what yoga has taught us. Thank you, Anna!Curvy Monthly - What does yoga give me

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