Resources - Exercises to Try

 

 

Breathing Exercises

by Cathy Warren

Here is something we all do, all the time, without thinking. Used consciously, our breathe can be a great source of soothing and calm. Here are some simple breathing exercises you can do to relax at any time – try any that appeal to you. It is best to try these out when you are in a reasonably relaxed state, so that when things become stressful you can 'refer back' to them. None of them need a long period of time - if you can find a minute, you can use it to breathe yourself into a resourceful state of mind.

 

Mindful Breathing – this is simply focusing your attention - all of it -  on the sensations of breathing in your body. Notice all the places that move, however subtly, to accommodate the breathe coming in and out of your body.

Counting Breaths – Count your breaths from 1 to 10, (then back to 1 again if there is  time)

 

446 – Count to 4 as you breathe in, hold and count to 4, then count to 6 as you breathe out. You can set yourself a time to do this (eg 1 min, 3 mins, 5 mins or 10 mins)

 

Images for Breathing

 

Try using these images as you notice your breath. You can take time to sit and do it as an exercise, or just do it while on the bus/train, or walking along:

As you exhale, let go of all negative thoughts and feelings

As you inhale, breathe in peace and calm

 

As you exhale, release all darkness

As you inhale, flood your body with white light

 

As you exhale, let go of any weight you are carrying

As you inhale, take in new oxygen to nourish and heal

 

As you exhale, let busy-ness subside

As you inhale, let joy fill your body

 

 

You might notice you find some of these images work better for you than others.  Take a few breaths with your favourite, for a treat.

Silent Words for Breathing

"talk" silently through the following sequence as you breathe. This has been adapted  from the wonderful Vietnamese meditation teacher Thich Naht Hahn:

 

Inhale: I notice I am breathing in

Exhale: I am aware of breathing out

Inhale:  I am breathing in deeply,  

Exhale:I am breathing out slowly

Inhale: I breathe in calm

Exhale: I breathe out with ease

Inhale:  I breathe in and allow myself to smile

Exhale: I breathe out and release

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