Breath of Freedom
Last night I lost my breath. I could not pull it up from my lungs. I couldn’t access it from the base of my belly. My head spun. My heart beat double time and the ground sunk underneath me. I had no idea where I misplaced it. Did one of my children borrow it so they could relax? Or was it stolen in the dark of the night as greedy government officials spewed their imaginary wet dreams from TV screens on to the masses of people waiting to find out the release date of our confinement? But what was really confined? My body, in this house or my mind that was whisked away to unfamiliar territory untethered to me because I lost my breath? The breath- that vital life force that grounds us in reality and connects our body, mind and spirit. That force that connects us to ourselves, the land and each other was drifted away from me. Last night, I gasped and reached desperately for the breathing app on my computer...I was soon able to moderate my breath to the melody of the virtual voice coming out of the computer and I fell asleep. When I woke up I not only found the virtual place of confinement outside of my body that now captured my breath, I also became acutely aware that this virtual space was being prepared for our collective life force to dwell- the place where our imaginations would soon be tethered like my breath was to my computer- tethered in a state of virtual enslavement. In virtual enslavement there is no imagination. We lose all ability to imagine our future. Our minds, bodies and mere breath are fed back to us digitally. We have no control over the desires of our heart, nor the automatic function of our breath. Fear takes the driver's seat. While we are busy gasping for air, decisions are made for us. We want to exhale but can’t. We become paralyzed in action and lose touch with what makes us humans. We are no longer the architects of our lives, and cannot author a reality necessary for a brighter post coronavirus tomorrow. Last night I almost lost my ability to imagine the new futuristic positive science fiction reality that is needed for our times. I had to challenge myself not only breathe deep and imagine wildly but to protect the imagination of those it comes naturally to- the children. Their wildest thoughts are the lifeline of our future. And our future is all held in one simple breath. Just breathe and imagine!----Here is a picture I created after unplugging, breathing and imagining...I haven’t painted for 10 years, but now see the need to paint images of a healed tomorrow.
Here are a few more breathing techniques...
1. The cleansing breath is a helpful breath to learn in these times of unrest. The cleansing breath just like water can clean our windshield and allow for a clearer vision, filling up our body with our cleansing breath can bring us in tune with our body, allowing us to be more responsive to our body’s needs which can help us detect any weakness in our bodily systems. For the cleansing breath beginners can simply breathe in 7 seconds through their nose, hold for 3 seconds and exhale for 10 seconds and hold for another 3 seconds. Repeat this pattern 7 to 12 times. For those who are more advanced with breathing techniques, breath in for 8 seconds, hold for 5 seconds and exhale for 16 seconds then hold for another 5 seconds. Repeat this pattern 10- 16 times. 2. Another great breath to learn is the energy breath - The energy breath is helpful when we are out of steam, when we feel like reaching for that last cup of coffee or when we truly need to regenerate our body. The energy breath will give you that second wind that you need without burning out your adrenals. It oxygenates the cells in your body. For the energy breath- you can simply breathe in through your nose for 7 seconds, hold for 1 second and exhale for another 7 seconds. Then begin the cycle again by breathing in again for 7 seconds. Repeat 7-12 times. 3. The clearing breath will help you see clearly in times of uncertainty and confusion- the clearing breath helps to clear our nebuly minds. This is especially important as we aim to prioritize our thoughts and concentrate on important activities- like working from home with children! It ultimately improves your ability to focus your mind, restores balance and clears the energetic channels. For the clearing breath make sure your hands are clean because you will be touching your face. Place your finger over your right nostril and breathe in through your left nostril, then place your finger over the left nostril and exhale through your right nostril. Breath in again through your right nostril and repeat the cycle. Though there is no timing for this breath, make sure your inhalations are slow and deliberate and that your exhalation is longer than your inhalation. Repeat 5 to 10 times. 4. The fire breath is my favorite breath of all. The fire breath brings back our passion and motivation. This breath allows us to connect to our solar plexus and increases the blood circulation by expelling toxins from our body. This can be especially helpful during times of stress when we feel and anxiety in our core and butterflies in our stomach. This breathing technique is done entirely through the nose. It is helpful to do this with your spine in a vertical position, either sitting up or lying down. Place your hands below your navel to help concentrate on dropping your breath to below your navel. Air is expelled through the nose as the abdominal muscles pull in and are inhaled through the nose as the abdominal cavity is filled with air. This is a rapid and automated breathing technique with each inhalation and exhalation being about 1 minute long. Start by practicing for 1 to 3 minutes. When you have the technique down you can do it for 10 minutes. Practice it daily to build stamina. The breath allows us to ground ourselves in the moment. Let us breathe into the moment, embrace the freedom and imagine a brighter tomorrow.