The magic of breath; taking in precious oxygen to nourish ourselves and letting go of the air that has served us, every second of our life. We watch the rise and fall of the side of a cat or dog as the breath comes and goes, of a baby sleeping, and we can see it in birds too. It is our life force and without it we stop.
Although, from our tiny nostrils it comes into our lungs set fairly high in the body, we want to breath it into our belly slowly and gradually with relaxed shoulders, the tummy expands and contracts as we breath out. When the air comes this deep there is a strong calm and the whole body feels a subtle expansion and freshness as the oxygen goes to the circulating blood, brain, organs, muscles, the nervous system and more, filling each cell with life. Amazing.
To do this well we need to feel grounded in the energy of Mother Earth like the roots in this picture as we take oxygen from the air. When we start to take 5 minutes a day, in a small space in our home or outside, standing with feet hip width apart, flat on the ground feeling secure aware of toes, ball of foot, heel and that security comes up through the legs, knees, pelvis, hips. Drop the arms from relaxed shoulders, collar bone straight, chin in slightly – breathe in through the nose, out through the nose. In and feel the air enter and expand the belly and slowly contract naturally as used air leaves. Repeat 3 more times then rest a moment with the eyes closed. Smile and your ready to go. This can be done lying on your back, sitting in a chair or on a floor cushion legs crossed, straight spine.
Then breath this way twice a day, anywhere, and you form a practise that will become second nature and last a lifetime serving the mind, body and emotions very well. Good to do on a tube train, standing in a queue. Conscious breath keeps anxiety low, gives time to contemplate, be in the moment, sleep well too.
The magic is working and we are grateful.
Most mornings however busy we are; a bus to catch, children to dress, breakfast to make, when we take even 2 minutes, to go outside the back door, onto a balcony, in front of an open window, see the sky, breath fresh air deeply and we’re nourished by the universe.
At any opportunity put on walking shoes and jacket (and inner smile) to go outside for 15 minutes. Leave “smart phone” at home, instead look at trees, how old are they?.. cloud formations, sky is it blue, grey, pink , hear each bird song, breathe with each step and feel yourself at one with all these. Taking the same route daily is not boring, it is fascinating, like being in the same body! On weekends find a park, small woodland, a road with gardens and trees and walk there, slow or fast or very fast – hands out of the pockets unconfined! – and arms free, allowing the spine, neck, shoulders, shoulder blades, rib cage and stomach to move in harmony with the legs, hips and pelvis. A truly fabulous feeling especially going fast you can have a few bursts of running or very focused walking backwards. All the while breathing into the stomach and this relieves tension and anxiety allowing the fresh oxygen to circulate, freeing body, mind, spirit especially from the static sitting position we take to work at modern machines like computers.
We walk as an integral part of the Universe and Planet Earth, every creature and sound is unique and sacred.
The soil and grass under our feet has worms, insects, grass hoppers, moths and still a few butterfly’s, ants, dragon fly’s near water – every leaf on each tree gives oxygen and through all weathers the roots secure it’s magnificent ability to grow…..even when a car passes with fumes, we can be free as only each individual can be on our own with our inner nature as our guide……aha, I think the sky has changed, the air is damp, it’s going to rain in half an hour – there is time to get home without being soaked.
The true colours, shapes, geometry and symmetry in nature feed our imagination and soul deeply as no synthetic ones can. Look at the form of birds, how far do they fly and find their way, their nests woven with their beak are perfect to protect their young, flowers and vegetables bud and bloom, a skeleton leaf is so delicate and beautiful and our sense of appreciation is extra-ordinarily healing. We can learn about ourselves in the magic geometry we observe in nature. And as we breath, the plants photosynthesize. We are one.
When we walk alone or take a few moments to ourself, refreshing ourselves in good times and difficult times or singing babies to sleep we can chant. All cultures have their own chants usually based around the vibration of very wise beings…and the chants are made of sounds with different vibrations…ah is different to oh. Here are a few sounds you are most likely to know or have shared or can find. Aum. Om. Su. More in the next newsletter.
Here are a few lines from an American Indian song to hum on a walk – available on you tube.
We are the power in everyone
We are the dance of the moon and the sun
We are the hope that will never hide
We are the turning of the tide