We live in such a fast paced world, so to sit and be still with the breath can be very challenging. When we pause to focus on the breath we are connecting to our natural rhythm and pace. There is a lot to be learnt from the simplicity of the breath.
Breath awareness lowers our center of gravity.
We have a physical connection to the breath. The nature of the human mind means that it will always wander. When we use the breath as an anchor for our awareness we have something physical to our return our focus to. Every time we return to the breath we are training the brain to increase it’s capacity to focus. We are also creating breaks in the cycle of habitual thinking. So be kind with yourself and don’t stress if you feel like it is difficult to stay with the breath. Some days will be easier than others and the more you practice the easier it will be for you to surrender to whatever state of mind you find yourself in.
Rest and digest.
The stillness that comes from tuning into the breath allows the nervous system to slip into a parasympathetic state. As opposed to ‘fight and flight’ this is a ‘rest and digest’ or ‘attend and befriend’ state of being. When our body is operating in this mode healing can occur and our body and mind can reset.
Just like life, the breath cannot be controlled.
Whilst we can manipulate it, the breath cannot be controlled. When we learn to align with the breath we allow space for things to be just as they are. We are much better off co-operating with the breath rather than clinging to it or resisting (much like life). For this reason it is important to listen to your body and not to push any breathing exercises that don’t feel right.
When we anchor our minds with the breath it enables us to enjoy the present moment. We can practice being still, steadfast, calm. Without regularly taking the time to do this we are more likely to be thrown off course by the ups and downs of daily life. When we align with the breath it helps us to synchronize the mind and body and bring us into a state of present awareness. This is the place of contentment. Lucky for us, the breath goes everywhere with us.
The simple art tuning in to the breath can be done anywhere, no meditation cushion required. As little as 5 minutes a day can have profound effects on our sense of wellbeing. Here is a quick 5 minute guided meditation to help you take some time out, unplug and reset the mind by using the breath as your focus.