Just breathe

Kathy Krugerhappiness, meditation, peace, yoga32 Comments

Breathe. In. And out. In. And out. So everybody is still alive after the holidays – that’s great.

Last Friday I published the lazy guide to being enough in 2015 – most of you were too lazy to bother reading – perfectly understandable really as I haven’t torn myself too far away from the pool or the yoga mat over the holidays.

But I have started well when it comes to focusing on my word of the year –BREATHE– being kind of necessary I figure I can’t break this particular resolution, but I can get better at breathing, make my respiration really count.

In this spirit I’ve written a post for DoYouYoga, which I’ll share next week, with ten ways to breathe better – different mindful breathing techniques, some from yoga, that teach you how to be conscious about every breath you take.

Yogis (well many of us) believe we are born with a certain number of breaths – which makes breathing slowly, deeply and meaningfully all the more important – you aren’t in a hurry are you?

Did you know: Our maximum lung capacity is about 3 litres, yet we only breathe in and out (our tidal flow) about 500ml or 1/2 a litre.

We all know how life-saving a few deep breaths can be when the kids are driving us cray cray, when we are about to head into an important meeting or when we are waiting on some critical news.

What if we could take that feeling of how consciously breathing makes such a difference in stressful situations to become more conscious of breathing every day?

In 2015 I want to inhale with gratitude – you know deep, heart-cracking-open breaths and let out with loud, contented sighs.

In 2015 I want to breathe with grace – using a breath as a pause point in a conversation to make sure I’m really listening and then thinking about what I want to say (or thinking better of saying it).

I want to inhale love and exhale forgiveness.

I want to breath peace – in and out.

This year I want to use conscious breathing to psyche myself up for challenges and to breath through difficult times.

I want to take big breaths that come with leaps of faith, and great gulps of air that suck in the joy of life, breathing out with so much thanks.

I want to find that quiet stillness in holding my breath and see it as a silent place of possibility and power.

I hope you can join me in breathing in, out, with and through 2015 by really being aware of the power of breathing – as though your life depended on it!

Because it does.

Now here’s one breathing exercise you can try – try it with the kids too. It’s called humming bee breathing. Sit in a comfortable position and place your index fingers onto the cartilage of your ears (against your cheek) to block out external sounds, inhale and make a constant, high-pitched bee-humming sound as you exhale. You can press your fingers in and out, or leave your fingers pressed in. This pattern can be repeated 6- 7 times. The kids will love it and together the whole family can create a calming chorus in a humming hive. This is instantly calming and great for letting go of anger.

Linking up with Essentially Jess for the first IBOT of the year and hoping you can breathe easy in 2015. Let me know – how conscious are you of your breathing? Do you have any go-to breathing techniques for when you are stressed?

PS – You probably missed the guided meditation I made for you to help you embrace and make the changes you need in 2015 from a place of acceptance and worthiness. Bookmark it for when you’ve got some quiet time (it’s 10 minutes). Would love your feedback.

Namaste sign off_edited-1

Kathy X 

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Kathy KrugerJust breathe

32 Comments on “Just breathe”

  1. toniazemek

    Great idea Kathy – I’m going to give the bee breath a go! I always find I breathe better at the beach – must be all that sea air. Happy New Year!

  2. coloursofsunset

    You know, I’ve been practicing conscious breathing in stressful situations for years. But I’ve never once stopped to think that if I practiced that all the time, maybe I’d be a lot calmer?! I’m going to try and be mindful of it today and see how I go! I mostly use it to handle anxiety – breathe in, breathe out and release all the anxiety and negativity, down the arms, out the fingertips…repeat repeat repeat. Great post Kathy. I am sorry I haven’t been able to get to one of your yoga classes yet. Hopefully there’ll be one that fits with my work and mummy duties soon x

    1. Kathy Kruger

      You are such a busy lady Aroha with study on top of work and parenting – but would love to have you in a class. It is great you have the awareness of breath as a tool for handling anxiety – I think most of us instinctively know we can calm ourselves by breathing deeply. Problem (or perhaps the opportunity) is that most of the time we just forget.

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Yes public humming could be a tad embarrassing Jess – although it would be fun to watch the reactions – and you could say ‘I’m not blocking my ears, I’m just breathing’!

  3. Michelle Weaver (@pinkypoinker)

    I am a chronic over-breathing, hyperventilating train wreck a lot of the time. Mindful breathing definitely helps me get back on track. Holding my breath definitely restores the balance sometimes too. Happy new year to you Kathy 🙂

    1. Kathy Kruger

      You’re a teacher Pinky – so I guess you have an excuse for over-breathing and being a train-wreck. But really breathing, really helps. Hope you are enjoying the peace of the holidays and have a great 2015.

  4. Min (@riteofthemiddle)

    Only yesterday I used my breath to help me through a frustrating and upsetting situation (long story). Breathe is one of my support words for my 2015 word of trust which I posted about today. I love it! I will come back to try your humming bee exercise and listen properly to your meditation ( listened to the beginning and your voice is so calming!! ) Have a great year Kathy! 🙂 x

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Min – I loved your post and how you are using supporting words to help you trust yourself and the universe. I reckon breathing consciously can help us live up to any word we choose.

  5. Sonia Life Love Hiccups

    Breathing is the one thing I forget to do when i am stressed… like literally… I hold my breath. My husband jokes that the tattoo on my wrist ‘just breathe’ is a reminder for me to actually breathe and he is not far from the truth. Those two words though ground me and I will definitely add in some humming now too xx

  6. Maxabella

    The perfect word for uoi, Kathy. For all of us! I love your idea of breathing ‘with grace’. Living with more grace is a long-time goal of mine. x

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Thanks Bron – I think we can make breath do what we want for us – be more confident, patient, graceful whatever – attach a feeling to a breath and watch it change our moods.

  7. Tegan Churchill

    One thing that having the CPAP machine has taught me is to be aware of my breathing, especially when I am laying down. I have noticed that when I do lay on my back while awake that my breath quickens, so I concentrate on slowing it down. I definitely feel better for it.

  8. mummywifeme

    I learnt the humming bee breathing technique at a pre-natal yoga class once. Love it. I actually forgot about it until now. I will have to try it again. I will be with you this year focusing on breathing, Kathy. I am always trying to be conscious of my breathing in stressful situations.

    1. Kathy Kruger

      That’s what I want to do – take that knowing about how much breathing helps in stressful situations to just try to be overall calmer and more motivated and aware most of the time.

  9. deb dane

    On my more list is guided meditation so I am going to suck it up tomorrow and make myself grab do e quiet time and listen to yours. I am aiming for 10 min a day and have yet to start. Xxx

  10. Emma Fahy Davis

    Breathing really is so powerful, we use mindful breathing as a calming technique with the girls when they get anxious or stressed. I just need to remember to pay more attention to my own breathing!

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