“Our breath, like our heartbeat, is the most reliable rhythm in our lives. When we become attuned to this constant rhythm, our breath can gradually teach us to come back to the original silence of the mind.” -Donna Farhi
Every day while my laptop is powering up, I put a little dab of essential oils on my wrists, close my eyes and take three gargantuan breaths. With each big inhale and (obnoxiously loud) exhale, I push a re-set button; I update and restart again with a fresh perspective.
I’m a big believer in pranayama practice, which is the fancy Sanskrit name for specific breathing practices from the Yoga Tradition. I try to do a five to ten minute practice daily. but even a shortened breathing practice, like three big inhales and exhales before I open my inbox, is my go-to routine of self-care because it helps me transition from distracted to focused.
Maintaining a daily routine of anything (even eating 3 meals a day) is difficult for me; but when I do, I feel more balanced and whole. In the Yoga Tradition, living a balanced lifestyle is called brahmacharya. I introduced this concept on my blog previously in these articles: “balancing self-care: brahmacharya” and “yes please!“.
Brahmacharya shows up in our lives when we create routines that lead us away from distraction and instead lead us toward the constant, reliable rhythm of breath and inner contentment. As yoga teacher Donna Farhi reminds us in her classic Bringing Yoga to Life, our breath and our heartbeat are constant rhythmic reminders that a re-set is needed and helpful in maintaining a balanced life and inner contentment. Your breath is all you need.
New to pranayama breathing practices? Looking for a re-set button that reduces stress and helps you focus? Try this one:
Cleansing Exhale Practice: 7-5-3
- Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight and shoulders relaxed. Close your eyes.
- Take 3 comfortable inhales and exhales.
- Inhale through the nose for a count of seven.
- Retain the breath for a count of five.
- Exhale through the mouth, loudly and fully for the count of three.
- Repeat this 7-5-3 pattern three times.
Pause for a moment, breathing in and out of your nose without effort for a few rounds of breath. Notice how you feel. Gently open your eyes, refreshed and re-set.
I encourage you to add this to your morning routine; building a balanced and whole lifestyle starts a few minutes at a time, daily.
You can find additional Breathing Practices, which Audio to guide you, on my page Guided Meditation.