Hello, My Beautiful Housemates.
Today, I need you to breathe. I am going to say it again.
Today, I need you to breathe.
I need you to stop and breathe.
I need you to sit down and breathe.
I need you to breathe.
Be grateful for the oxygen that enters your lungs and helps the cells in your body produce energy. I need you to breathe with an inner knowing that your breath is life. Your heart can beat outside of your body, but without oxygen, you will die.
Today we breathe. With everything that is going on in the world today, it is important that we breathe. It is important that we check in with our breath.
Today we will meditate on our breath. While you’re reading this take notice of your breath, without judgment, just notice it. Bring your full attention to it.
How are you breathing?
Is your breathing centered in your chest or your abdomen (belly)?
Is your breathing shallow, or is it deep?
Are you inhaling and exhaling for the same length of time?
Time your inhale and compare it with the length of time of your exhale.
Are you observing the four stages of breathing?
Remember. We are observing without judgment. If you want to know if you’re breathing correctly, look at a child. Specifically an infant or a toddler. Watching infants and toddlers is a great practice because they are in their bodies.
When children breathe, their chests rise, and their abdomens expand when they inhale. When they exhale their chests go down and their abdomens relax or contract. If you’ve ever taken yoga classes, or if you are a singer you may have heard the term ‘diaphragmatic breathing,” or the say breathe from your diaphragm. This is nothing new. It is something we may be trained to forget, but breathing from your diaphragm is the most healthy and comfortable way to breathe.
Without getting too technical (says the Virgo in The House), your diaphragm is the primary muscle of breathing. It’s shaped like a dome or parachute, and when you are breathing properly it does some very wonderful things for your body.
First, there is a tendon. It is called the “central tendon,” and it connects your diaphragm to your lungs and your heart. There are also three holes or openings in your diaphragm. Oh yes, I am fucking geeking out. Please bear with me. Breathe.
Your diaphragm separates your chest cavity from your abdominal cavity (this is where many of your vital organs live). Breathe. I know this isn’t a fucking science class. What the hell?
When you breathe properly, when you inhale the chest cavity should rise, and the abdomen should expand. When you exhale the chest should fall, and the abdomen should contract or come back to its original size. If you want to get the full benefit of exhaling focus on pulling your belly button towards your spine.
Breathe in through your nose until you feel like your chest and abdomen are filled with all of the oxygen surrounding you.
Breathe out through your nose letting your chest fall and allowing your abdomen to come back to its resting position.
Keep breathing. First concentrating on inhaling and exhaling properly. Keep breathing and bring your awareness to the length of your breaths so they are in time with each other. Keep breathing.
Inhaling what you need, and exhaling letting go of the tension and stress of the day.
Keep breathing and feel your body relaxing. Keep breathing. The expansion and contraction of your abdomen offer your vital organs a beautiful internal massage.
Keep breathing because the three holes in your diaphragm allow for major arteries and veins to pass through them. If this muscle is unhappy it will affect the way blood travels through your body. You may even be causing yourself undue stress and feelings of anxiety, so breathe.
Let those feel-good hormones settle you into your chair, into your body. Breathe and notice the two moments of pause or silence that happen after you inhale and exhale. Breathe and let yourself sink deeper into yourself giving thanks for this simple, important function of your body called breathing.