Saturday, February 5, 2011

Simply Breathe

Never under-estimate the power of stillness.

Staying active during the harsh winter months can be challenging. While we are on the up-swing of the "days getting longer mode", the temps are still chilling, the snowbanks have become mountains, and we may find ourselves buying bulk in hand and foot warmers.

This is the time of year when we try to make the most of it. Maine is amazing for skiing and snowshoeing....bundle up and enjoy that cold, fresh, pine air...even brave a run with the proper gear. We also head indoors more often, finding ourselves sweating in the gyms to stay strong and get that heart rate up.

Activity is good health. Use it, or lose it.

Enter balance.

As we adjust our activity/life routines, we must also take care to honor our spirit, our life-force, our little soul furnace - we need to fuel this also, because balance begins within.

By simply sitting comfortably and in proper posture, be it on a meditation cushion or your favorite chair, closing your eyes, and breathing, you can circulate nourishing energy fuel throughout your being. It is a great way to start and end the day, but feel free to fit it in as your schedule allows...it should feel natural and enhance your day as opposed to becoming "just another thing to do." Sit for at least 5-15 minutes.

Tips for breathing:
  • Your breaths should initially be conscious, bringing full body-awareness to the three-dimensional breath. Fill the belly, expand the diaphragm, open the rib cage, raise the clavicles. Exhale reversing that motion. Picture an ocean wave washing over your body.
  • It's good for your first few breaths to be cleansing - in through the nose, out through the mouth, filling and emptying completely.
  • As you settle in, begin to breathe in through the nose, out through the nose. Your breath will always be your guide. As your mind wanders, bring your attention back to your breath...in and out. It helps to keep a soft-focus on the Third Eye Chakra...a mindfulness to the point between the eyebrows.
Breath is life. Mindful breath will nourish each and every cell, keeping us healthy in our physical and energetic being.

Give it a go! When the weather keeps us inside, take this as an opportunity to "check in" with your body, mind, and soul furnace.

-Om Shanti