Daily ritual | breath work
Here is a simple method of a breath work ritual which you can incorporate into your daily routine. This is known as four-square breathing, and is a technique to aid concentration and naturally relieve the nervous system.
Like all mindful practices which cultivate stillness and self-reflection, it can require courage to feel the sensations which arise. We encourage you to be gentle and patient with yourself. Please discontinue if you feel lightheaded. Build up slowly.
Create a space
Here is a time for you to fully dedicate to yourself and your healing. Find a quiet space, light a candle and select some calming music or find a peaceful place in nature.
Select a therapeutic scent
Pairing this technique with aromatherapy can create a deeper more effective process. Some of our favourite scents are peppermint to invigorate, sandalwood to settle anxieties, and rosemary to summon focus. You could use an oil burner for essential oils, or select your favourite basho oil and apply a drop to your pulse points.
Prepare the body
We practice in a seated position, as though in meditation. Relax the hips, lengthen the spine, drop the shoulders, release any tension in the jaw and close your eyes.
Inhale deeply through the nose for 4 counts. Hold for 4 counts. Exhale steadily through the mouth for 4 counts. Hold for 4 counts. Repeat the cycle 5 times.
Channel your focus
If you begin to sense areas of discomfort within your body, direct your breath and focus to the edges of that area. Gently expand on the inhale, and soften on the exhale. Let the awareness soothe that pain, and reassure your subconscious that you are there to support yourself through anything.
Awaken your body
Take as long as you need to sit and be present with the sensations you feel, and when you are ready open your eyes and return to your setting. Give your back a stretch and wiggle your toes. Slowly rise, and continue your day in tranquility.
Performing daily tasks with consideration, consciousness and a thoughtful pace, can instantly elevate them into meaningful moments which reflect a reverence for each and every part of our precious day. And nothing could seem simpler, more overlooked, than our breathing. Yet breath work has the incredible ability to re-connect us to our bodies, cultivate emotional intelligence, release anxiety, regulate our nervous system, and balance the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies.
Breath work is the practice of breathing with awareness. Although there are a range of methods, it is simply done by bringing consciousness to each breath we take.
The breath has been the foundation of every mindful practice like yoga or meditation, as it calls us to inhabit our bodies, connecting our mind and physical form within the present moment. This makes breath work a deeply effective tool for finding peace, balance and presence of mind during times of turmoil or discomfort.
The practice is supportive when we feel emotionally or mentally overloaded, as a way to ease anxiety and self-regulate the nervous system. It can clear stagnant energies and shift our focus out of mental loops to a more liberated and creative mindset.
Breathing fully and consciously into our belly activates the parasympathetic nervous system for gentle attunement which is calm, controlled and focused. A repetitive, long term practice bestows the ability to shift our mental state, fight negative thinking, avert anxiety attacks, and live with more ease in the world around us.