Take a break with a Breathing Meditation
I can't believe how time flies.
I had high expectations for 2017 and thought "this will be my year!"...well, I think that every year ;) But things don't always work out as planned, right? In December my almost 6 year relationship and 1 year engagement came to an end. I slept in friend's guest rooms or shared beds with my besties.
I had to keep it together and perform. So I pretended to be ok. In front of the camera in my job as a model, and as a yoga teacher. But the fact that I didn't really have a home was extremely tough on me. I finally found a new place and moved in January, but I couldn't help but feeling lost. I felt like a failure. I couldn't save my relationship, I left my beloved dog behind (we try to share him), and I lost my beautiful home and best friend.
I developed a serious sleep disorder, which added even more to my stress. I became moody and began to doubt myself. It's so easy to be sabotaged by certain circumstances and self-doubt. But I guess that's completely normal and all part of the process. You just have to know how to deal with it and take care of yourself.
The philosophy of yoga is described in the Yoga Sutras. A book filled with guidelines for a more meaningful and purposeful life, compiled by Sri Patanjali. One of the most famous sutras is "yogas citta vritti nirohdah". It means "yoga is the elimination of fluctuations of the mind". Citta is the spirit, vrittis are thought impulses and nirohdah is the elimination.
And that's exactly what this post is about. Give your mind and soul a break. All you need to do is make some time, find a quiet comfortable space and draw your attention inward. Meditation helped me to feel grounded again, sleep better and to find inner peace during the most stressful times.
I find it easier to relax when I focus on the breath. Here, I'm sharing my guide to a conscious breathing meditation. You will feel much clearer, fresher and more relaxed in the face of everyday life challenges.
You won't need more than 10 min. The more often you meditate the easier it gets and you can slowly increase the time of your meditation.
What you need:
Yoga mat or comfortable underlay
optional bolster & blocks
1. Lie down on your mat or soft enough surface. If you are using a bolster, lie with your head, shoulders and spine along the bolster. In this position, the chest is widened and the back is supported. To give the spine more length, sweep out the lumbar region and the buttocks to the feet. If it is pleasant to you, you can bring your feet together, and let your knees fall open. With tense muscles, it helps to place blocks under the knees, as a support.
2. Place your hands on your belly. Close your eyes and begin to relax your body and mind completely.
Pay attention to your breath. Inhale through the nose to a mental count of three. Brief hold here, and exhale through the mouth. Take two to three normal breaths.
3. Take another long breath in through the nose. Hold briefly at the top of the inhale. And exhale through the mouth to a mental count of four. You can take more time with counting if you feel more comfortable. Find your own rhythm.
Breathe normal again. Observe how the abdomen rises on the inhales and how it contracts when you exhale.
4. With the next breath, breathe from top to bottom. Take in only so much air that the chest lifts slightly. Hold. Take in a little more air and breathe in the upper part of the abdomen. Brief hold here. Breathe now into the low area so that the abdomen is completely filled. Hold. Exhale through the mouth. It feels good to let it all out with a sigh.
5. Breath normal again. Repeat this exercise of wave-like breathing three to four times.
6. Now begin to breathe from the bottom up. Take in only so much air that the lower half of the abdomen lifts. Short hold. Take in a little more air and breathe in the upper part of the abdomen. Hold. Now fill your lungs completely and feel the chest lifting and expanding. Hold. Let go of everything and breathe out through the mouth. Breathe normally for one to two breaths and repeat this exercise three to four times.
Deep inhales activate, exhales relax.
Meditation doesn't come easy for everyone. Don't get frustrated or get to hard on yourself if you find it difficult to relax at first. The more often you do these kind of breathing exercises, the easier it is to turn off distracting thoughts and to release tension in the body.
Live the life for which you are destined. Trust your intuition, your calling, and you will unfold.