Breathing. We do it unconsciously everyday – breathe in, breathe out – breathe. But how often in your day are you aware of your breath? It keeps us alive. Fuels many processes in our body. But when do we stop to take notice of it? Appreciate it? Learn to understand what our breath has to teach us? And use our breathing to facilitate healing and relaxation?

Breathing has real power. It can be used and influenced to induce calm, balance, release stress and can help when dealing with things causing pain, anxiety and depression. It’s a mega tool in our life tool box and it’s so underutilised! So, let’s get to grips with our breathing and start working with ourselves for the better. Only good will come from breath awareness. I promise.

Here is a simple breathing exercise to get you started. Enjoy!

You can practise this exercise when life gets a little crazy, but why not give it a whirl for a few moments everyday… you will cultivate a deeper connection with yourself and become more aware of your being over time.

Bring yourself to a comfortable sitting position, and I mean comfortable. If any part of you is screaming, you can’t relax, so shift around, get cushions, prop yourself up, lay down if that works. Trick is to start from a place of comfort, and allow yourself to soften. Its the path of least resistance and more ease, and that’s what we want.

Once comfortable take a nice, deep inhale. Bring all of your attention to how that inhale feels. Where do you feel it in your body? How does your body respond? How does your mind respond? Observe yourself. See what you notice.

When you come to exhale, sigh out through your mouth. A big ole’ sigh. Really let it go. Hear the sound your breath makes as it leaves your body. Feel it leave your body. Do this for a few more times, noticing how you feel along the way.

Taking the practise a little deeper now, this time inhaling and exhaling through the nose. Inhale and feel where your breath expands in your body the most. Place your hands there. Feel the rise and fall in your body as you inhale and exhale. If any cheeky thoughts creep into your mind and try to steal your attention, acknowledge them. Don’t fight them. Accept they are there and visualise them as bubbles, floating away. Gently guide yourself back to your breathing, how delicious does it feel?

Start to encourage your breath deeper into your belly, let it expand out front ways, sideways into your ribs, and into your back too. Allow your breath to create space in your being, clear out the stagnant and bring in the fresh. Sit there and breath for as long as is good for you. And when you’re ready to release from this practice, gently shift your attention to whatever part of your body is connected to the floor, feel yourself rooted to the earth, gently open the eyes and have a little stretch in a way that feels good for you.