This weekend is usually spent with friends and family enjoying BBQ and enjoying a 3 or for some 4 day weekend. As with every journey worth traveled, there may be bumps in the road. For example getting stuck in traffic…or getting your buttons pushed by that one family member that just gets under your skin (Passive-Aggressive Patty). What about your children losing in a game of anything and getting upset and letting you know about it. Before you respond to a person or situation that will not serve you in the future, I offer 4 different types of breathing that will require 30 seconds of your time and a powerful choice to try something new. Each breath is based on an element of nature. Number 1!
EARTH BREATH (belly breathing)
Place one hand on your belly and one hand right underneath your throat near your collarbone. Take three deep breaths either focusing on something in front of you or even better closing your eyes. Notice if the deep breaths are coming from your belly extending out or your shoulders and chest extending up. Try to then intentionally focus on taking 3 more deep breaths with your belly while keeping your shoulders and chest calm and relaxed. You may have to focus on intentionally pushing your belly out farther than you’ve ever done and then as you breathe out pull your belly in. Then place both hands on your belly and breathe in while extending your belly, and then breathe out and pull your belly in. Belly breathing is a fundamental component of any yoga practice.
WIND BREATH (tongue breathing)
Cold breathing is designed to relax the body and give a sensation of coolness and calming. Take your tongue and place it behind your bottom teeth. While keeping your tongue behind your bottom teeth take a deep breath in with your mouth. What do you feel? Do you feel the cooling sensation of the air gliding over the top of your tongue? That cooling sensation will help a child or adult relax their bodies and become instantaneously more calm and aware.
FIRE BREATH (nose breathing)
Fire breathing through the nose is designed to invigorate and energize the human doing it. I first suggest that you blow your nose really well so that nothing comes out while you do this. Fire breathing is breathing in and out of your nose as fast as possible while keeping your mouth closed. As you continue to do this your abdomen will automatically be breathing in and out for you.
WATER BREATH (rib breathing)
The water element invites us to do our jellyfish breathing. When you breathe in with your belly your chest is still compressed so we tend to not get the fullness of the breath. With jellyfish breathing, we have our arms go up in the air floating like jellyfish so that our rib cage extends and we get to fill our lungs with a deeper breath. Try the jellyfish breathing in two parts. 1st be intentional about breathing in and making your belly big and then once your belly is full of air then raise your arms up like they are floating to the sky and open up your rib cage and see how much additional air you can fill in.
Try these with your children and other friends in your life and you will see a huge difference. How often do you get to take five breaths for yourself? This weekend I invite you to breathe and enjoy life. Have a wonderful weekend.