The way you breathe is directly connected to your physiological, psychological and emotional state. It is affected by what you are thinking and how you are feeling in the moment, and also reflects your long term health and wellbeing. Just as you naturally develop thought and behaviour patterns, you also develop patterns of breathing, and it is likely that you have established some unhelpful breathing habits over time. A little understanding of good breathing, aided by the power of suggestion, will you help to develop more relaxed and efficient breathing patterns. You will find that as the whole of you relaxes during meditation, so your breathing will naturally begin to do the same.
You were born to breathe from your diaphragm, a flat, elastic muscle that sits at the bottom of your lungs, above your digestive organs. It draws the air in and out of your lungs in a bellow-like movement. As you grew up you probably forgot how to breathe deeply and fully from your diaphragm, and adopted shallower, less efficient breathing patterns (using the upper part of your lungs only).
The physical action of inhalation and exhalation, by its very nature, involves receiving and releasing, as your diaphragm and thorax stretches to draw oxygen in and softens to surrender back out what is no longer needed. This ebb and flow of receiving and releasing mirrors an opening and letting go at deeper levels within you.
The meditation in this video helps you explore the expansion of receiving, and the surrender of letting go. Your intention is to receive nourishment and release inner holdings.
Linda Hall March 2012
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