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Tools and Tips

4 Steps to Free Your Breath

Here’s something to think about: What one thing can you live without for only minutes?

Your breath!

We can go without food for between three to four weeks, without water for three to five days, but without air, only about three minutes—unless you’ve been especially trained, which may give you an extra two minutes of life without oxygen.

So it stands to reason that our breath is a key to our health and wellbeing—physically, mentally and spiritually. It influences our nervous system and consciousness.

When you wake up, there is a natural, involuntary shift in your breathing pattern that signals the brain that you are awake. When you’re falling asleep, your consciousness and breathing shift in tandem.

The more you are connected to your breath, the more you become aware of your breathing patterns and responses, the healthier you’re likely to be in body, mind and spirit. To facilitate this awareness, I’ve created something that I call BYB: Being with Your Breath.

BYB was inspired by my Spiritual Psychology Masters Program studies, and more deeply by the death of my mother four years ago of lung cancer. During her illness, I witnessed her desperation as she tried to grasp for air. In those difficult moments, I would guide her to be calm, allow the breath to come effortlessly and release the fear. “Don’t judge it, don’t fix it, just be with it” were my words for her.

It might seem easy to say, and hard to do, but it is profoundly helpful—on levels beyond what I’d first considered. Now I think of BYB as an approach to self-realization through the connection to and liberation of breath.

So what is BYB? How do you do it? You might be surprised, but this simple method includes just four easy-to-follow steps that you practice systematically. They are:

  1. Observe
  2. Acknowledge
  3. Appreciate
  4. Open to Divine Inspiration

Observe. Simply observe your breath As It Is. Notice what is happening in your body. Is your belly loose or tight? Notice how it rises and falls with each inhalation and exhalation.

There is no need to change anything or make it better. Just notice what is.

When you can observe your breath without judgment or interference, you free your body and your perceptive ability.

In the observer mode, your autonomic nervous system shifts from a sympathetic fight or flight state to a parasympathetic state. Your attention moves away from any negative thinking patterns to the physical sensory awareness of your breath. You become more calm.

Silence exists in the pauses between inhalation and exhalation.

Acknowledge. Now that we have noticed our breath, we have a wonderful opportunity to learn from it. What thoughts are there as you breathe? What might be at the root of your breathing pattern? What ideas, emotions, limitations, constrictions or fears might you be holding from the past?

Appreciate. Now that you have observed your breath and acknowledged your thoughts, you have the choice to let go of the thoughts and of the breath pattern you were engaged in, freeing yourself to breathe in an uninhibited way.

This is your chance to take ownership of what you acknowledged—whatever might be restricting you—and appreciate and release it. Acknowledge the Loving Essence of yourself and others. Let your breath break through the prison of judgment and flow freely, without conscious effort. This is full self-expression.

Open to Divine Inspiration. In this last step you are with your breath—in divine connection with Spirit and with all that surrounds you. Each breath you take is a reminder of your connection to the Divine, to your origin, to who you really are.

Being with your breath, you are in the present, aware, fully functioning. All is perfect as it is, and so is your breath.

The more we free our breath, the more we free our perception and are able to acknowledge the higher forces that guide our lives—even the force of our breath. We understand ourselves as part of a much larger consciousness than the “I” of daily life. We breathe in the now and all is well.

Love,
Aerin

Categories
Tools and Tips

Five ways to Get the Most out of Exercise

Five ways to Get the Most out of Exercise

Posted on May 18, 2015 by Dr. Miles Reid– Tools and Tips

Whether we love it or dislike it, we all know that exercise is important to our health and longevity. Given that, why not have some fun with it and maximize our exercise routine for faster results?

Physical activity helps both your body and mind stay strong, healthy and resilient. It helps you detoxify, oxygenate and think more clearly.  Studies show that regular exercise:

Reduces stress

Combats disease

Boosts brainpower

Improves memory

Controls weight

Increases energy

Releases endorphins

Improves mood

Promotes good sleep

The great news is that you don’t have to climb a mountain. There are simple things you can do to stay physically fit (which also helps you stay mentally fit), and you can start from wherever you are now on the fitness spectrum, at whatever your chronological age may be. The important thing is to get moving.

Maybe you already have an exercise routine that you enjoy. Great!

If you don’t already exercise regularly, you can start today and you’ll instantly add to your energy bank account. Choose something that’s fun for you. If going to the gym is intimidating or boring for you, head outside. If the weather is uncomfortable, find an indoor activity that you’ll enjoy (maybe subscribe to our United in Vitality Video Library).

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or new to a regular exercise routine, there are five things to keep in mind. For best results, you’ll want to incorporate the following elements into your routine to make sure that your body is getting everything it needs. Your weekly routine should include:

Cardio activity two to three times a week. This can include energetic walking (vs. strolling), jogging, running, bicycling, dancing, tennis or other active sports, or other exercise that gets your heart pumping.

Stretching and movement for flexibility two or three times a week. This can include basic stretches, yoga, etc. It can be simple.

Core strengthening exercise and/or weight-bearing activity. Gyrotonic (we offer sessions at Tilo) and Pilates are great choices. The important thing is to strengthen and maintain the strength of the deep muscles in your abdomen—your power center.

Energy redeployment. Gyrotonic is again a great choice., as are certain types of yoga; the idea here is that you want to reorganize your energy toward your center of vitality to nourish your internal organs.

Set your intention clearly. Align with what you are doing so that your activity and intention match. It may sound odd, but it is very powerful, effective and enjoyable to have clear intention in what you do.

The greatest benefit from all this physical movement will come with a joyful mindset. Exercise can be fun! Have a good time with it. Try something new. Shake it up.

In good health,
Dr. Miles Reid