December 2017 – Mindful Breathing through the Holidays

When the stress of the holidays gets to you, remember to breathe! In fact, this particular way of breathing, that I call the Power Pause Breath, gives you a moment of pause to rest, restore and recover your centre as you connect with yourself and the world around you in a resourceful way that is true to who and how you want to be through the holidays and in life.  The power pause breath focuses on belly breathing and is a fundamental way to maintain your sense of empowerment under stress. Use this breathing technique any time you need to remain calm or to create a moment of “pause” in which you can collect your thoughts.  Just press the pause button and begin belly breathing…

Sit with feet flat on floor, or stand. Lengthen your spine and draw your chin back, lengthening the back of your neck. Draw your shoulders back and down, softening your shoulders, jaw and brow. Begin to slow down your breathing. Place your hand on your belly, just around your navel – this is your pause button.  While inhaling, expand your belly by drawing air deep into your lower lungs. Your belly and your hand should expand out slightly: this is your signal that you are breathing deeply enough to activate the relaxation response in your body. Then exhale and let your belly and hand release. Repeat this breath several times. Gradually extend the inhale higher and expand the mid-chest by opening the rib cage out to the sides. Then exhale, allowing the rib cage to contract and belly to deflate. Repeat this breath as many times as you need to, to feel a sense of calm alertness come over you. To deepen the relaxation effect, let your exhale be a couple of counts longer than your inhale.

I wish you a holiday season filled with love, laughter and peace.

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