Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Take a Breath

I’m at a conference at the moment.  Actually, it’s Fabienne Fredrickson’s Mindset Retreat where 300 of us are learning how to find clarity, remove the “gunk and sludge” (as she puts it), and rise into the level of spirit and faith necessary to achieve our dreams of growing as successful entrepreneurs.

There’s a lot of heavy information to internalize and process over the three-day event and I believe much of it will take much longer to process.  Something that she has us do often, especially after delivering information that may have hit a nerve is to take a deep breath.  Why?  Because for some of us, the information may stop our breathing, send us into shock or a state of anxiety, or cause something profound to bubble up to the surface.  When we focus on our breathing we take our attention away from something that may have caused us distress and brings us back to the present moment. 

I’ve written this before but I believe it’s worth repeating:  Breathing is one of the primary ways that the body detoxes.  Not only are we supplying oxygen to our brain, organs, and tissues like muscle when we inhale but when we exhale, CO2 and additional toxins are expelled from the body, helping to regulate pH levels. 

Most of us, however, hardly use the full capacity of our lungs.  We barely skim the air off the tops while allowing stale air to accumulate.  We don’t realize we’re doing this simply because we’re not thinking about our breath.  So although breathing is something inherent to us, real cleansing, therapeutic BREATHING is a process that requires conscious effort.

If you practice yoga, then you understand that deep belly breathing, the kind that accesses all 4 lobes of the lungs energizes, promotes clarity, stimulates circulation, uplifts the mood, and relieve stress–organically.  And this is exactly what our periodic deep breaths are accomplishing during the conference. 

So if you find that you’re feeling sluggish or foggy or anxious, simply by taking several slow, deep breaths in and out­–as you focus your attention on them–you’ll almost immediately feel uplifted and centered.  And if you do this exercise outdoors in the fresh air, that’s even better.  In a way, breathing really is the perfect stimulant that can be practiced anywhere, anytime.   Deep breath in…deep breath out…

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