I hope you are having a relaxing August. This week I am sending you my Alternate Nostril Breathing video on YouTube. Taking the time to do very specific breathing techniques, known as Pranayama, is a self empowering action you can take to slow down, center yourself and feel more at peace whether you are on vacation, going through transitions such as moving or changing jobs, during hormonal shifts, or during "normal life" when situations around you influence your level of fear and anxiety. When you breathe with intention, inhaling and exhaling slowly through your nostrils, you slow down and feel more relaxed. This relaxation has a positive effect on your overall energy. You know this, but sometimes it helps to be reminded of something so simple and available.
I'm sending this video out again (I made it two years ago) because I, myself, am doing Alternate Nostril Breathing every day. I need to relax my nervous system and be as present as possible because last week my son was attacked by a pit bull dog! He's dealing with a lot of physical pain and we are both dealing with emotional trauma and shock of the dog bite- my son receiving it, and me witnessing it. But rather than check out and freeze into fear and isolation (which people do when they are in shock or overwhelmed with trauma) I'm doing my best to stay centered in the here and now with breathing.
This is radical self care, because Just One Breath has the power to draw our attention away from the worrying thoughts running through our minds, and bring us down into our lungs and diaphragm muscle, which are anchored inside our bodies, in the present moment. The breath is the method by which we arrive into the body, and the body is where we can feel powerfully centered, grounded, fluid and whole.
From a holistic sense of Self, we can then tune into what actually needs our attention, not the incessant worry of panic, but to what we can actually do- right now- that can soothe our aching tummies or hearts and bring us more community, understanding, compassion, love, and peace. For me, this currently looks like reading, hugging, resting, being in nature, meditating, intentionally breathing, drinking soothing tea, watching movies, taking time out and going to bed early. I'm also trying to stay connected with people in my community (such as yourself) because I tend to hole up and isolate when I'm stressed. If you are so moved, I'd appreciate if you would send me an email to let me know you are out there. We are the village!
Thanks for reading this far. Now it's time to breathe.
Take a seat, get quiet and tune into your energy before, during, and after the pranayama practice. I encourage you to notice any shifts that occur in your energy as a result of doing the breathing (and leave me a comment about it on my YouTube page).
Let's breathe together:
Often we hold our breath when we are worried and stressed. Here's my son in a supported reclining pose to open up his belly and lungs so he can breathe more easily. Notice my use of everyday household items in the pose- a towel under his head, a pillow under his legs, and his stuffed animals for comfort, along with the yoga bolster, yoga block and eye pillow. Just proof that you, too, can breathe at home.
And, if you would enjoy more YouTube videos from me, posted more frequently, please let me know What you are interested in.