Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Can't sleep? Try this

"Find your breath" I say sometimes when I'm teaching.

Find your breath right now, as you are reading this. Are you inhaling or exhaling?
Now listen for the opposite. Think of your breath happening in cycles, one inhale and one exhale is the same as one breath cycle.

Find your breath, again. Notice how your belly moves while you breathe.
Take 2 breath cycles to focus just on how your belly moves.

Continue breathing, and for the next 2 breath cycles, notice the temperature of your breath as it moves passed your nostrils.
As you inhale, the air is cool.
As you exhale, the air is warm.

Now take 2 breath cycles noticing both the temperature of air coming in and out of your nose, and the way your belly rises and falls as you breathe.
As you inhale, cool air comes into your nose as your belly expands.
As you exhale, warm air leaves your nose as your belly draws in toward your spine.

Take a few more breath cycles with your eyes closed, and this time bring your attention to your breath as it travels through your body, from the nose to the belly and back again.

Keep bringing your attention to the movement of your breath, and observe the calming effects that this particular breath practice has on your body-mind.

Practice this anytime you feel anxious, nervous or are having trouble sleeping.

In joy!

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