Breath and Stillness: Part One

Embodied Resilience and Wellness

Breath and Stillness: Part One

There are so many far reaching and long-lasting wellness benefits of breathing with awareness and spending time being still.  We often refer to breath practices as breathwork and meditation practices.  

You may notice increased mental clarity, focus and/or feel more calm state of being as mediation and breath practices refine your cognitive and intellectual functioning’s of the mind.  This type of practice also stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system which creates a relaxation response in the body and helps you feel less stress and anxiousness.

How we breathe is how we live.

Overtime, your immune system is boosted, blood pressure lowers, your felt sense of pain decreases, and your digestion system may improve.

One of the most simple and effective methods is focusing on objective internal observation of breath and sensation. This form of focused breathwork and meditation offers you tools and methods to work with feeling over-stress, anxious, overwhelmed or worried by learning that thoughts and feelings come and go as do sensations.  We can choose how we respond or react to them. The practice also supports you in making choices more aligned with how you want to live your life as you are more aware of your thoughts and reactions and able to respond with more awareness.

Silence has an amazing effect on your mind. 

Being in silence can restore our mental resources, help activate our brains default mode network (daydreaming, meditating, fantasizing, self-reflection) and actually regenerate brain cells.

Meditation and Breathwork practices help to reduce the stress and tensions we carry with us in our everyday lives. With regular practice, your health and wellness will improve. You will feel deeply rejuvenated as your body and mind sink into a restorative and relaxed state while practicing.

To begin, you only need your breath

One of the most amazing benefits of breathwork, mediation and relaxation practices is that you don’t need anything else to do them—just breath and have a body. From that simple beginning of just breathing and being, you can add in many other layers and ways of practicing from external support to incorporating philosophies and even your personal spiritual practice.

Styles and Systems:  Breath and Stillness Practices 

Breath Awareness
Simply being aware of sensations and feelings of the breath.  This can also be practiced anywhere and in any position.

Deep Breathing
Deep breathing, also called belly breathing or abdominal breaths, is a specialty technique used to calm the body reducing anxiety levels. Deep breathing can be used to reduce the heartbeat and blood pressure. Deep breathing can be used as a when you feel you in an over-stressing situation or anytime feelings of overwhelm occur. It also feels very relaxing and releasing to practice.

Sit in silence

Breathwork Practices
Breathwork practices are various ways to practice being aware of the natural breath to practicing of regulation of the breath.

Meditation is a practice. A technique is used to an aware, calm and clear state. Meditation is that it is a mental exercise that trains your focus and attention. There are many many different forms and techniques for meditation You actually feel the positive effects of meditation on your mind, body, and spirit the very first time.  A breath awareness practice, a breathwork practice can be your meditation. By practicing, meditation you will strengthen the body-brain connection; thus, feeling more focused, alert, and relaxed.

Deep Relaxation Methods
Deep Relaxation is using various methods to bring around a deep state of calm, restoration and relaxation in the body and mind beyond a basic breath awareness, relaxation practice, meditation or breathwork practice.

Yoga Nidra is an experience-based deep-relaxation practice that is guided. Yoga Nidra is a systemic practice method of guided relaxation that profoundly effects the body and mind. It provides techniques to help you inquire into your current, unique experience of seeing, hearing, feeling, sensing, tasting, smelling and thinking. It is a pure practice of experience and true awareness that over time creates a deep resiliency of mind and body. It is particularly helpful practice during times of challenge and transition.

Sometimes the most important thing in a day
is the rest we take between two deep breaths

Deep Relaxation Yoga Nidra is the Yoga Nidra form and practice that I (Heather Lee Farrell) created and developed, remastered for our time while staying true to the science and roots of Yoga Nidra.  This modern-adapted practice of Yoga Nidra, is practical and inclusive welcoming all philosophies, spiritual and non-spiritual practices-it is for everyone. Philosophy is not taught as part of Deep Relaxation Yoga Nidra as the focus is on creating a deeply relaxing and nourishing re-usable practice that works for everyone

A Yoga Nidra practice that helps to reduce the stress and tensions we carry with us in our everyday lives. With regular practice, your health and wellness will improve. Overtime, your immune system is boosted, blood pressure lowers and felt sense of pain decreases.  You may notice increased mental clarity, focus and/or feel more calm state of being. You will feel deeply rejuvenated as your body and mind sink into a restorative and relaxed state while practicing.

Body Scanning Awareness
A Bodyscan awareness practice allows you to notice what is happening in your body in the present moment and release the tension and tightness thus allowing more relaxed breath and mind.  It is a progressive muscle relaxation and like meditation, deep relaxation and breathwork there are varied techniques. It is a form of interception and a core part of any mental resilience practice. Interception tracks sensations internally. (From noticing your heartbeat to a body sensation to an emotional state)

Breath it all in.
Love it all out.

Body scanning can help us respond and react differently with discomfort.  Body Scanning helps reset the brain’s perception of how it views and handles painful areas. Through this, we train the brain to notice and not react. We become better equipped at interacting with situations where we are responding to over-stressful stimuli. It can also help you access areas of the brain connected to the emotional system. By practicing over and over, we learn how to be aware of and engage with these emotions, feelings and sensations as something that exists and reframe it into a more neutral objective response.

You can practice the Body Scan in any position that feels good for you.

Guided Imagery and Visualization
Guided imagery and visualization is used in many ways. It can help you relax and address related physical outcomes from being over-stressed like lowering blood pressure.  It helps the body become more aware and to create a sense and state of flow, it accesses your deep subconscious, triggers the brain to release feel good and creativity sparking chemicals in the brain and body. Invites awareness based on your senses and allows you to engage your consciousness more fully.

Next in the Breath and Stillness Series: Part Two, Practice Suggestions and Tips for you.

In gratitude,

Heather's Signature

Next Steps:

  • Join my innovative program at a special low price, Twenty-One DaysHere
  • Definitely sign up for my Newsletter, here
  • I can share with you how to integrate simple restoration, meditation and breathwork into your everyday life to support you in simple ways, here
  • Read my other articles, here