When a yoga practice isn’t possible, here’s a simple breath awareness exercise inspired by Vanda Scaravelli’s approach to practice.
Whilst this time of year can be wonderful, catching up with old friends, spending time with family, it’s also busy, and occasionally stressful. Sometimes it’s tough to find time for ourselves, and unwind a little. We all know that breathing consciously can soothe the nervous system and help us relax, so here’s a simple breath meditation which you can do in just a few minutes. It’s best lying down, but you could do it sitting too.
Allow 5 – 10 minutes – more if it’s available.
Breath awareness meditation
∗ Start by taking a few easy breaths to settle.
∗ Then observe how you breathe.
∗ As you inhale, can you be gentle?
∗ Let the breath fall into you. It’s our inspiration, our uplift, our life energy. Perhaps that’s why we sometimes race towards it, eager to draw it in. Slow down. See if you can enjoy the sensations as the air gradually expands within you. Savour it softly for a moment.
∗ When you notice the inhale fading away, stay soft, and see if you can allow it to turn gradually, to dissolve delicately into the exhale.
∗ Can you follow quietly behind, as the breath travels away from you.
∗ Notice how it glides down through you, dropping, encouraging you to let go, allowing all tensions to fall away. Pause if you can, wait, and be with your breath, from moment to moment. Observe the sensations softening.
After a few breaths, notice the quiet and the space you have created.