Meditation and breathing exercises
I work with the stressed and overworked, and over and over again I have found how breathing is the most important tool for calming the body and mind. It is a tool that is always with us, and its effects are immediate. In a few minutes you can feel the effect. Fortunately, there has been more talk about breathing and its effects in recent years, but its power is still surprising. The way we breathe is closely related to the functioning of the body - the heartbeat, the flow of oxygen and carbon dioxide, hormonal activity, and the mind. At its best, it can help the body balance e.g. stress hormones, and even nourishes our brains. No wonder breathing exercises have been found to have a variety of health effects. Breathing through the nose is essential in most exercises, and I want to encourage everyone to learn to breathe through their nose in everyday life.
Conscious breathing is also an exercise to stay in presence. Breathing makes it easy to regain attention and focus on the essentials - to this very moment. It helps to give a truthful perspective to the situation at hand. Especially when emotions take over, breathing anchors us in our own body, and slows down the (mental) pace. And the more you have practiced using this tool, the easier it will be to deploy even in situations where things feel challenging.
You can breathe in many different ways, and each way and style has its own impact on our well-being. Personally, I have focused on easing the long-term stress.
I hold a few breathing workshops every year in Soltorp, and you can find more information about them here. I also hold workshops for private groups, and more information about them can be found here. I can also tailor a breathing workshop to your needs.
Meditation is often thought of as mind control, but I personally think it is more like observing the mind, from a suitable distance. The mind generates new thoughts at such a rapid pace that not even our conscious mind can perceive them all. Therefore, it is important, at least when starting meditation, to allow the mind to continue talking, and to consciously distance one’s own being and feelings from all the stories your mind tells you. Many talk about the silencing the mind, but the mind is rarely completely silenced. If the mind of a novice meditator is silenced for a thousandth of a second, it is already a lottery win.
There are many ways to meditate, but for many of us who have been meditating for longer, it may take longer to calm down and calm down for a moment. Inevitably, the conscious mind begins to go through the events of the day and the to-do list, when the body finally calms down and stops. Keeping the focus sometimes seems almost impossible. Because of this, I prefer to guide beginners with meditations that give the mind something to do, preferably more than one thing. It can be breathing observation, looking at a specific object or object, body movement or position, reciting a mantra - or a combination of all of these. Most important, and at the same time most difficult, is being merciful for oneself. If you’ve heard someone already on their second meditation experiencing something wonderful, a deep connection to themselves or their environment, I can assure you that you’re not weird or anomalous if it didn’t happen to you. Rather, you belong to the majority, to whom meditation deepens gradually. The process sometimes seems frustratingly slow, but I promise, it’s worth it all.
I occasionally lead guided meditation groups, and more information about them can be found here.
An easy way to try meditation and breathing exercises is to attend a Kundalini Yoga class, for example.