Inhale, exhale – so easy, yet most of us do not tap into the wonderful resource of the breath. Day-to-day, unconscious and shallow breath is what passes as breathing but take a moment for one long inhale, followed by one slow exhale, and it's easy to see that our typical breath is the fast food of breathing – it'll get you by but with no real nourishment. I reached out to Felicia Pavlovic co-founder of Yoga Therapy Toronto (and truly gifted teacher) to share a breath practice that we can all enjoy. With a running time of less than four minutes, there is no one too busy to do themselves this favour. You won't regret it!
SQUARE BREATHING to EXPAND AWARENESS AND OPEN UP TO THE PRESENT MOMENT:
Place one your hand on your diaphragm. You can find the diaphragm by running your fingers up the ribcage to the apex where the heart is. Place your thumb at the apex and the rest of your hand on the upper abdomen.
Place the other hand on your belly (lower abdomen).
Begin to breathe in through your nostrils expanding the hand on the diaphragm like a balloon.
As you exhale through your nostrils, contract your belly slowly like letting the air out of a balloon, long and smooth.
After a few long breaths start breathing with this ratio:
exhale 4 (2x's)
hold 4 (2x's)
hold 4 (6x's)
Return to a natural relaxed breath.