Photo of Anne Malatt by Alan Johnston for Self-care moments

Self-care Moments: A moment to breathe

- Photography by Alan Johnston
2

We have been breathing since the moment we were born but no-one teaches us how to breathe, and we usually do it with very little awareness of what we are doing, while we are busy doing other things. So what if we were to take a moment just to breathe, bringing our focus to our breathing and how we are doing it, and developing the understanding in our bodies that the way we breathe can change the way we feel.

To begin with it can help to sit or lie down in a quiet place and gently close your eyes, not to shut out the world but to give yourself some space from its outer distractions and allow you to focus on your breathing.

We have been breathing since we were babies, but most of us no longer breathe the way that babies do. What if we were to take a moment to breathe as gently as a baby does, just to see what that feels like?

Babies breathe very gently, sometimes so gently it is hard to tell if they are breathing at all. So how about we slow our breathing down and allow the breath to enter and leave our nose, without forcing it or pushing, just allowing it to gently move in and out.

To begin with, just focus on the in-breath, allowing the out-breath to simply be.

If we breathe slowly and gently enough, we may start to feel that the breath enters the nose slightly cool, closer to the top of the tip of the nose…

We can feel the breath fill our lungs, allowing each breath to go a little deeper, settling us into our bodies a little more…

And as we feel more settled, we can start to focus on the outbreath, just allowing the air to leave our body, allowing our chest to rise and fall…

And we may notice that the out-breath leaves the nose a little lower down, and feels slightly warmer, as it has been warmed by the warmth of you…

Focusing on the breath in this way gives our mind something to do and brings our mind into line with what our body is doing. This conscious presence, or awareness of ourselves in the body, offers us a space within that is free from the barrage of thoughts that are constantly at us, pulling us into our heads and out of connection with our bodies, free from the outer intrusions we call daily life.

As you breathe gently, in and out, keeping your mind aligned with what your body is doing, you may start to feel more settled in your body, more at ease, more spacious…

Take a moment to enjoy this feeling of space in your body and to claim it as natural, as normal, for you…

And when you are ready, gently open your eyes and take this feeling of spaciousness with you as you move into your day.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Anne, I love the simplicity of the way your have presented the gentle breath, as something that is so natural to us, that we can take it for granted and at times completely dismiss it, with our busy lives and activities. Thank you.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here