You can live without food for weeks, without water for days but without oxygen for just a few minutes! But most of us spend very little time thinking about our spirit. As Oxford University Press reminds us: "In previous years, breathing was synonymous with life itself, because the last breath was a sign of death and the departure of the soul." Similarly, in yoga, Sanskrit is the spirit of Prana, which also means viticulture.
As we move our consciousness into our spirit, we slow down and we realize our heartfelt self, our thoughts, and our feelings. Did you know that when we are under stress do some of us keep in our spirit? Other times, we just breathe very sharply. We are unconsciously stopping our vitality and causing even more stress in our bodies. If you start exercising conscious breathing (by focusing on and holding your breath) your body will relax and your mind will become more focused.
Breathing can be more than physical activity, it can be a powerful stress relief tool and a solid friend. It's always there for you. When you pay attention to it, it brings you in, away from all the outer, busy ness, and into the moment. In the book, Practice Power NOW, Eckhart Tolle suggests using the spirit as a tool to enter NOW.
Emphasis on the spirit and mind naturally slows down while the body relaxes. The "Monkey Mind" will be less hoppy. Most meditation exercises include some kind of spirit awareness, as it relaxes the body and focuses on the mind. Try the following stress reduction methods.
1. Next time you are excited or confused, focus on your spirit. Notice how your breath is moving to your body (or not, if you keep your breath). Then take each inhalation and exhale, quietly, "One" on inhalation, "Two" on the breath, etc..
2. For even deeper relaxation, try counting the exhalation only.
3. To focus more, focus on the space between the spirit. The space where the breath breathes and inhalation becomes a spirit, etc.
Exercising breathing regimen regularly brings inner peace and deep relaxation. When thoughts slow down and your mind becomes clear, you can become aware of limiting your thoughts to being released, you can make room for a new thought pattern, and you can relate to insight and deep wisdom. "Breathe. Let yourself in. And remind you that this moment is just one you know you're sure of" ~ Oprah Winfrey.