A Life Worth Breathing: Breath your Way to Inner Calm
By Andrea Seydel author of Saving You Is Killing Me: Loving Someone with an Addiction
Spirituality helps us cope, find meaning, and move forward with love, hope, and purpose. It is like tapping into the wisdom and magic of the person that you indeed are. Spirituality is about a connection to something larger than you, living everyday life in a sacred manner where we seek to express meaning and purpose. Tapping into spirituality is a beautiful way to move you away from worry and stress to a place of peace and grace. Spirituality or awakening has many benefits: We often go through life on autopilot without giving too much thought to who we are, what we want, or even why we are here. Awakening is about turning on a bright light in a previously dark room.
According to many ancient teachings, breathing generates electromagnetic energy or life force commonly known as Prana, Life Force, Chi, or Qi, deepening our spiritual practices. Essentially, the breath connects us to our spirit, life force, or energy. Breathwork benefits our mind, body and spirit. When you practice, you move beyond your physical body and mind, and you connect with your spirit-your 'self.' You move away from your ego and connect to your true self and the universe. In the book A Life Worth Breathing: A Yoga Master's Handbook of Strength, Grace, and Healing, Max Strom teaches us how mindful breathing, in tandem with the physical practice of yoga and spiritual practice of meditation, raises us to a more robust level of awareness. When you are stressed, disconnected, and anxious, breathing is one of the best practices we can do. Strom talks about the age-old breathing practice that is ideal for stress, insomnia, and anxiety.
4-7-8 Breathing Pattern: Strom suggests the 4-7-8 Breathing Pattern. If it's bedtime, you can lie in your bed in the dark, ready to sleep. Then, inhale to the count of four, hold your breath to the count of seven, and exhale to the count of eight. He recommends continuing this for two minutes, but you can always do it longer. Essential techniques: Inflate the lungs 100% complete before holding your breath. Always use the same metric, the same numbers. If it's too slow or too fast for you, simply speed up or slow down your count, but always use 4-7-8. If you know how to regulate your breath using Ujjayi (Ocean) Breathing through the nose or mouth, do that. If you don't know how to regulate your breath, simply inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth while pursing your lips so that the air can slowly be released with a hissing sound.
Spirituality Breath: Next time you're practicing breath work, focus on spirit. Feel as though the universe is filling you with air on your inhale. Experience the life force or Prana flowing through you and feeding all of your cells. Allow yourself to make space for all this energy within you. Feel how this energy is bright, crystal clear, and healing. Feel how this energy connects you to a deeper part of yourself and the universe around you. As you begin to exhale, expand the energy beyond your skin to all living things around you. Visualize a cocoon of white healing light nurturing you.
Pranayama: Pranayama is about controlling your breath for the positive effects that it can bring. By controlling your breath, you can energize your body, your mind, and your spirit. You can also use the breath to release tension or energetic blocks that hinder the flow of your life force. Play with your breathing or research pranayama techniques.
Life happens, and challenges will present themselves. When you love someone with an addiction, it is common to feel betrayed, disappointed, and even heartbroken. It is common for our systems to be overwhelmed with trauma and stress. You can pull yourself out of the mud. Tap into your breath. Spirituality is one of the most powerful resources when you are at a breaking point or the deepest point in your life. When all else feels hopeless, personal growth and spirituality are available to us all.
For further support: Do not hesitate to listen to the SYKM podcast or purchase the book
You can also reach out to Andrea Seydel herself at www.andreaseydel.com
Here is the SYKM Podcast link: http://apple.co/38p1OMU