A Breath Exercise to Ease Stress that's as Easy as Saying "1,2,3"

      To create a calm mind and body during this stressful pandemic era requires the ability to switch from effort to ease in an instant. To be able to transition your mind and body from the intensity of the current quarantine life schedule to a place of quiet, to a place of rest, so you can rejuvenate and restore, and come back with a calm state of being. If you skip taking time to rest your mind and body, you will build up so much stress, and wake up the next day even more frantic. Have you noticed that build up? Nobody needs that! Especially now! What you can do to help yourself be better in this crisis is to give yourself plenty of self care. Allow yourself as little as 10 minutes or somewhere up to 1 hour to let go with some quiet time to rest and stretch your breath.

      As you read this, put one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Feel your breath in its natural state breathing you. It's a wave. It's always there. When you focus on the tidal quality of this wave and stay there for a while, you found it. You found CALM. That's the healer, the parasympathetic nervous system otherwise known as our peaceful nervous system. A peaceful and calm you is what the world needs right now. Not a mind and body filled with adrenaline and anxious energy.

      Here's a breath exercise that will help you access a calmer you and it is as easy as saying "1,2,3."

      You can do this exercise seated upright in a chair, cross legged on the floor, or reclined.

      If reclined, get a throw blanket and fold it up as seen in the photo above. Place it under your shoulder blades, so it props up your chest. Make sure the back of your shoulders fall to the floor and your palms face up. Also note how the blanket is not under your lower back. It's under your shoulder blades. You need to feel comfortable. If you're not, then get rid of the blanket, and rest flat on the floor.

      Then give way to the comfort of your seat or the blanket folded under your shoulder blades. Acknowledge the tiredness and exhaustion your mind and muscles are holding. Feel yourself little by little release into the earth's support.

     Take note of your breath in its natural state moving you.

     Close your mouth and lengthen your inhales and exhales.

     Hear a whispery sound coming from the back of your throat while you breathe in and out through your nose.

     The next time you inhale count to yourself 1,2,3

     Then pause and hold the breath for a count of 1,2,3

     Exhale for a count of 1,2,3

     Continue with this even length of inhale for 1,2,3

     Holding the breath drawing it in for 1,2,3

     Then exhale for 1,2,3

     Continuing on your own with an even length of inhale for 1,2,3 , then holding your breath for 1,2,3, and then an even length of exhale for 1,2,3.

     As this starts to feel like a natural rhythm, enjoy it for as long as you can maintain counting 1,2,3 to yourself. Eventually let the breath stretching go and return your breath to its natural state. Rest here for as long as you can.

     Try to do this breath exercise once a day.

     Wishing you and yours peace and calming days ahead.

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