Breathe Easy.

Words byHayley Hayley

Breathing is second nature. Throughout most of our lives, we never even give it a second thought. It’s something we knew how to do intuitively from the moment we entered the world, and it’s the last thing we do before we leave this earth.

But just because we know how to do it doesn’t mean we know how to do it well. Most of the time, we pay little attention to our breath. When stress takes over or when we’re taxing our bodies, we resort to shallow, hollow breathing that doesn’t allow us to oxygenate properly.

When we tune into our breath, however, we can tap into power we didn’t know we had. You can harness this for stress reduction, to perform better when you exercise (just think how easy those pyramids will feel) or to help you work through complicated thought trains. You only have to pay attention and focus your breath.

Easier said than done, right? Though it might seem complicated at first, it’s something you can practice wherever, whenever. It’s your practice, and you can do it however it’s best for you.

Here’s how you can get started:

  1. Decide whether you’re going to stand, sit or lie down and stick to it. Once you’ve chosen a position, become aware of your posture. You want to be straight and aligned but not stiff.
  2. Take a deep breath. Take another.
  3. Start to notice how your body is feeling.
  4. Bring your awareness to anywhere you feel tension. Breathe deeply and send your breath to those areas.
  5. Settle in and relax as you focus deeply on each inhale and each exhale.
  6. If your mind starts to wander, don’t worry! Simply direct it back to your breath and where you feel your breath most in your body.
  7. Do this for about five minutes the first time you try, but you can work your way up to 15-20 minutes.