Recipes for Breathing
I was taught by my friend Murshida Va two breathing exercises that have been a great help to me in times of stress or anxiety. They are wonderful for relaxing or meditation.
Still Point Breathing
- Sit somewhere comfortable
- Take a deep breath through your nose. Fill your lungs from the bottom. DEEP full belly breaths. You can put your hand on your belly if it helps you do this.
- Visualize the problems/stress in your life…
- Imagine the air you are breathing in surrounding all the problems and then forcefully exhale them out. Air in. Problems OUT…
- Do this several times until you are full of oxygen and feeling more relaxed.
- Now that you are full of oxygen – you can just not breath for a little while. A few seconds, several, whatever. Just get still and sorta “hang” at the bottom of your breath in silence…
- Take another breath as you need to. You aren’t holding your breath you are just sort of “resting” between breaths. Resting at the bottom of your breath.
- Do this as long as you want. You can also visualize yourself surrounded by something safe. Like a cocoon of bright light or whatever. You are safe. You are calm.
Elemental Breathing is a series of 5 deep slow breaths. You breath each one different and visualize a different color for each. You can do one of each breath and repeat 5 times or do 5 of each breath once. Your choice. I also made a handy chart below to help with the visualization. Once your do it a few times it is easy.
- EARTH. Breath in through your nose. Out through your nose. Visual the color of rich earth or red clay – whatever dirt color you want. Just concentrate on the color of the earth while you breath. Let it fill your mind.
- WATER. Breathe in through your nose. Out through your mouth. Visualize the color of water. Like a teal blue. Imagine you are breathing in the water.
- SKY. Breath in through your mouth. Out through your mouth. Think light blue. Imagine the cool air and sky filling your lungs.
- FIRE. Breathe in through your mouth. Out through your nose. Imagine the color of fire. Orangey red. Heat.
- ETHER. Breathe in through your mouth and nose at the same time. Breathe out through both. You are imagining the stuff between everything else in the universe. Imagine smokey light gray. I love this last one. By the time I get there I feel SO much more relaxed. Inhaling and exhaling through your mouth and nose at the same time is very different from what we normally do, but it feels great!
These two breathing methods have helped me tremendously. My friend swears if you do them your problems will fix themselves. I do them all the time.