Smile, breathe, and go slowly
-Thich Hnat Hanh
Spring is here, officially anyhow. Whether or not the weather is in agreement with the celestial cycles is a different story. Regardless, I see it creeping into people’s behaviours, myself included, although we’ve only had a small taste, the change is coming! Although most of us are urban dwellers who essentially deny any relation to nature per se our seasonal behaviours are undeniable. And so I, and many others have begun cleaning out closets and purging of old stuffs. This is also a fantastic time to adopt new habits, and to take on some healthy practices (anytime is,now however, is a time when people seem to be gaining momentum and motivation to assist their new habits).
If you pick up only one healthy renewing habit this year let it be this. Breathe. I know you do it every day, all the time. Recently I was told by someone they already know how to breathe, not sarcastically, but breath practice is the easiest way to:
Stay alive. And now that we have that out of the way its other benefits include
Reset your nervous system to low stress, calm
Begin a relaxation or meditation practice
Give your body what it craves most. More than chocolate, coffee and even water!
Brings you immediately back to the present moment
Releases toxins, more so and more consistently than any other system
Overall efficiency of your body systems. The primary “nutrient” your body requires is oxygen, pretty much nothing works without it for more than a few seconds.
Improves posture. Breath practices encourage the same muscles because full deep breaths require good posture, so you end up practicing and enforcing that too.
It’s uplifting and energizing. If you think that contradicts the first point, it kind of does. Quick as possible explanation: when you’re stressed your nervous system is in fight or flight mode, since it’s an evolutionary thing our bodies don’t know that we can’t log on to the Skype meeting of our lives, it’s like “AAAAAHHH! Run! Bear!”. You couldn’t possibly stop and take a few deep breaths if you were being chased by a bear, so your system goes into calm mode right away, even if you still can’t log on to Skype. On the other hand, when you’re feeling tired a few deep breaths bring oxygen to your brain and muscles, and returns you to the present moment, creating an uplifting and energizing effect. Tada! Non-conflicting contradiction.
So, if only for 2 minutes, find the time to just breathe. Fully and deeply in through your nose, into your belly, then expanding your ribs out as much as you can, into the upper chest lifting those last few ribs until you’ve inhaled as much and as fully (but not necessarily forcefully) as you can. Now passively exhaling through mouth or nose, not forcing out the last bits creating a vacuum, just until your naturally inclined to breathe in again. Remembering the brief pauses at the beginning and end of each inhalation.
Still not inspired after all this inspiration?! Seriously, inhalation is also known as inspiration, and if you’re still having trouble with it CREATE is offering you a free consultation to figure out how we can inspire your inspiration, fitness, and wellness, Call 41-994-6267 or click to fill out an online form.
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© Lisa Kingsley-Correia and Create Fitness Health and Wellness, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.