Home Is Where The Breath Is
Feeling stressed or like you've lost your purpose? Breathe your way back to home-base with a pranayama practice to centre your energy and reconnect with yourself. We'll use two simple techniques that will guide your breath into every corner of your body and end with a relaxing meditation to integrate the benefits deep in your mind and heart.
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The first technique is Sama Vritti which means “same action”, the action being in the length with equal inhales and exhales. It’s a soothing, peaceful breath. And the second is the three-part breath, where we breathe into the belly, the mid-section and the chest. But rather than just breathing into the front body, with a shallow breath - which tends to happen when we’re stressed, we’ll allow the breath to fill up from the back body and overflow into the front body. The inhale starts at the back of the belly until it fills up the front of the belly, then it wells up into the mid-section, first filling in the back of the ribs, all the way up to the front of the midsection, then the breath pools up into the back of the heart, fills through the side of the ribs, then into the front of the heart. This full way of breathing soothes your nervous system and invokes your body’s natural healing response.
Lie down for this one. Come into savasana, reclined butterfly or knocked knees - whatever feels most comfy and allows your back body to rest into the floor. Bring one hand to your belly and the other hand on your heart.
Simply notice your breath, without any technique at all. Just notice its movement, its current. Our breath is with us our whole lives - from the moment we’re born - to the moment our souls transition from our bodies. It’s life affirming. And whenever we feel stressed, or like we've lost our purpose, just by connecting to our inhales and exhales, we come home to ourselves.
Starting with Sama Vritti, feel the inhale, however it comes in, wherever it goes, and then even the length of your exhale with your inhale. Not really controlling how it’s moving, just the length of this silent, peaceful breath. Matching the length of your inhale, with your exhale, finding balance. Now just take one more of these, the inhale rolls on in and the exhale rolls on out.
Now this time, with your hand on your belly, begin inhaling into the back of your belly until it overflows into the front of your belly, and when your belly is full, then shift the breath so it begins to fill up the back of your waist, the side of your low ribs, all the way to the front of your midsection, then when your midsection is full, inflate the back of your heart, the sides of your upper ribs, to the front of your heart, your front body. Now as you exhale, start first by exhaling from your chest - front body to back body, from your midsection - front body to back body, from your belly - front body to back body. And as you get to the bottom of the exhale, release a little bit more air than you think you can - exhaling completely. Repeat this three times or until you feel a sense of relief.
Let go of your breath now and relax your arms beside your body, palms up and just experience the effects of this conscious, deep breath. Notice the shift that you feel. Has anything stirred up to the surface? How is the atmosphere in your mind? Can you feel an increase in sensation through your body? Just observing and allowing. In this sweet space of bliss and observation, breathe your way back to home-base.
Take one last big inhale and exhale, floating your eyes open to the room.
OTHER WAYS TO ENJOY THIS POST
Want to go deeper on your healing journey?
This month, inside my LIGHTER Membership, our mantra is: “My body knows how to heal”.
Each practice in March supports this intention and focuses on activating the relaxation response to soothe stress (which weakens the immune system) - so that we can tap into our body’s natural ability to heal.
There’s a gentle healing flow, breathwork, healing meditation and more!
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Set restful intentions and relax deeply with this guided meditation for stress and anxiety.