All of nature has a rhythm, yet so often we are disconnected from the natural rhythms, pushing ourselves to give out constantly, and not allowing ourselves the time we need to rest and replenish. This simple breath exercise reminds us of the importance of stopping to take a breath, and living in a rhythm of giving out and taking in.
Begin by standing or sitting. Take in a deep breath – now, without breathing out, take in another. And another. And one more.
Okay – breathe out! A-a-a-ah!
Without breathing in, breathe out again. And again. And again. And try once more. Aaagh! it’s hard!
Stop and breathe normally for a minute. In, out. In, out. How good does that natural rhythm of the breath feel? Our bodies are not designed to be constantly just giving out or just taking in – we need to do both in a regular rhythm.
Let your breath be slow and even – try for 6 or less breaths per minute. When you are feeling stressed, try stopping for a moment and simply taking 5 or 6 deep and even breaths. This can be very calming, and help you centre yourself again.
The next time you find yourself giving out too much without taking in the rest and nourishment you need, stop and do this exercise. Remind yourself you are not a machine – you are a part of nature, and you work best when you stay within it’s rhythm.