Updated: May 17, 2020
So it’s early Thursday morning, before the kids are up, and I am lying in bed awake, thinking of all the things that need to get done today. I don’t know about you, but this is the quietest it will be today until late tonight when my 11 year old finally succumbs to the sandman (despite her constant resistance to bedtime/sleep). My mind is racing on things to accomplish while my body struggles to awaken. Should I get up and get moving? It’s hard to motivate when it’s still not yet bright outside.
I take this opportunity to do a little meditation in bed. Breathing in, I inhale good clean energy and focus on expanding my lungs, my belly. Exhaling out, I allow the breath to release my muscles and tension everywhere in my body, slowly letting myself relax into the bed. Breath in, expansion of the belly. Breath out, letting go and melting into my surroundings.
Belly breathing is something we (especially us women) are not necessarily accustomed to. For years it was an unconscious thing for me (Hold it in! Suck in your stomach!), a consequence of years of societal molding, trying to fit into the picture of a perfect girl. I struggled with my weight growing up and had several years of being “chubby” which eventually led to my unconsciously sucking in my stomach and breathing up into my chest. I suffered a lot of anxiety growing up too, which was greatly exacerbated by the way I was breathing, which I only discovered years later.
When the breath is so shallow it creates a bit of a fight or flight response and our nervous systems get triggered, making us more prone to feeling stressed and anxious. If you’re not fully oxygenating your body, it starts to go into emergency mode, which has ripple effects in our mood, energy and overall well-being.
Focusing on the breath in the morning is a great way to bring attention to our breathing for the rest of the day and reinvigorate our whole body and mind. A few more breaths, inhale healing energy, expanding the belly, exhale out, giving permission to my body and mind to relax and let go... After a few minutes I’m recharged, relaxed and ready for the day. Now what are the kids having for breakfast and lunch today??