When we are stressed, tired, agitated or angry our breath shrinks into a small space in our upper chest. Just when we are needing to oxygenate our body, to feel alert and yet calm we unconsciously reduce the ability of our body to feel alive.
Letting your whole body breathe acknowledges that our whole body is involved in our well-being and so we need to take care of it too.
You might like to try this exercise in letting your whole body breathe: Start by
noticing your breath – just where you feel it most fully now – where you can feel the in breath and the out breath with ease
allow yourself to feel the fullness of each in breath and the releasing of each out breath until you feel your shoulders relax
now bring your awareness to your nose – feel the cool air entering your nose and the warm air leaving for 2-3 breaths
next, feel your breath at the back of your throat – feel the cool air moving down the back of your throat and the sensation of the air leaving for 2-3 breaths
gently bring your awareness to your chest – feel the upper chest rise and fall with each breath for 2-3 breaths
and then feel your rib cage expand and release in the lower half of your chest for 2-3 breaths
now become aware of your solar plexus – that area just under where your ribs rise and meet at the centre of your body – notice the movement there with each breath for 2-3 breaths
letting your awareness drop down to your belly – sense the rise and fall or expansion and release of each breath and stay there for 4-5 breaths. You may even like to place your hands there.
Now, as you breath in visualise your breath going into the palm of your hands and up your arms to your shoulders on your in breath and back down again and out through your palms on your out breath. Let the air fill your arms and shoulders all the way out to the skin. Breath life into your arms and shoulders.
When you are ready bring your attention back to your hands resting on your belly and feel the rise and fall of your natural breath.
On your next in breath let air fill your hips and buttocks, bring life to your bones and organs all the way out to your skin. Feel the tingling energy of oxygen rejuvenating your cells and filling them with energy for as many breaths as your body needs.
Bring your awareness back to your palms for a few breaths.
Next, let your legs fill with oxygen on each in breath and on the out breath let the breath out through your skin. On each breath let your awareness move down your legs at your own pace until you are breathing in and out of your feet.
Now let your whole body breathe together.