THE BREATHING BODY
Step 1 (days 1-3). The Breathing Body
- Breathing is an experience not an idea.
- We are continually breathing - so be aware of it!
- Breath awareness can help us be more comfortable in our body, even with pain.
- Helps us learn to live with body, rather than in spite of it.
- Breath awareness is a good way to soften tension that is a reaction to pain.
- Make fist and notice if holding breath.
- Breathe into fist to soften the holding.
- Can learn to take breath to pain or tension and use it to soften secondary tension & resistance.
- Remember to always be kind and gentle with yourself - regardless of how your practice and training goes.
Step 1 (days 4-6). The Breathing Body
- Are you learning to breathe into pain rather than contract against it?
- Have you become aware of movement of the diaphragm with the breath? *
- Broadening and flattening on in-breath
- Relaxing back up to concave shape with out-breath
- The breath is a constant flow of movement and sensations.
- Pain or discomfort is also always changing. It's not a static enemy.
- Awareness is what matters - magic moments! Awareness allows choice instead of being on autopilot.
- Helps overcome any tendency to feel a victim of circumstances.
* you can find an image of the diaphragm within the Documents section in the box on Training page.
Mindfulness in Daily Life exercise
Step 1 Days 1-3
Stop and be still once an hour - Relax around the breath a little. For more on this read the Mindfulness in Daily Life section in the box on training page.
Mindfulness in Daily Life exercise
Step 1 Days 4-6
Be aware of the breath when moving and in daily life. Relaxing into the breath rather than inhibiting the breath against pain. For more on this read the Mindfulness in Daily Life section in the box on training page.
Monday - 14/04/2014
Stress score: 25
Mindfulness score: 105
I found the body scan relaxing to a point. It was easy and soothing to be aware of the breath inside the body parts. However, when it came to the eyes and the head, I found I had no control over these and that placing my awareness on these areas actually increased my tension and pain levels.
Daily Life Exercise
When I began the day being aware of my breath, using the 'stop and be still' method, I realised that I was holding anxiety, fear and worry. I am not sure what this was about, but as I noticed my breath all the feelings burst out and I cried and cried letting out treats I didn't even know I had held in there. It is just as Vidyamala outlined, in the pre-discussion for the next three days, I am not living in my body I am living a pretend life whereby I ignore everything my body is telling me.
Reflecting on this has made me realise just how delicate I am ...
Throughout the day, on awareness of my breath, I noticed that whenever I was dealing with a physical symptom or an emotion, that I wasn't always aware of, my breath was not relaxed and I modified this each time. Because of doing this I am feeling so much more relaxed than usual already ;) - this is nice ;)
Being aware of my bodily feelings and messages is important so that I can live in the here and now and breathe easy.
Tuesday - 15/04/2014
I haven't slept at all last night. I don't know why but I'm feeling rather wired.
My mind was wild today. I've had hardly any sleep because my mind was over active last night and it still continues today. However, I managed to keep gently bringing it back to the breathe. Well pleased with myself and the results of calmness that I feel.
I missed the night time body scan - I was too poorly plus there were external demands that I couldn't escape.
Daily Life Exercise
I am enjoying the 'stop and be still', it is enabling me to be more aware of my bodily state.
Wednesday - 16/04/2014
Massive headache today. When I tried to do the body scan my mind was flitting from here to there and from there to here, it was crazy. Nevertheless, I stuck with it and came away with the realisation that often you don't have a choice, the mind will wonder where ever and when ever it feels too. However, your choice comes in the form of being able to gently pull the mind back onto the breath and / or the task at hand.
I did quite a few body scans today, to help me cope with the pain. What I found was that I simply kept falling asleep, which I think is what my body needed at the time, and needs continually because ME/CFS/Fibromyalgia have really taken their toll on the quality of my sleep, and it was nice to just do it and let it (sleep) happen!
Daily Life Exercise - Stop & Be Still Review
I've been using the hourly 'stop and be still' for three days now and I am finding that, although, my reminder chimes in the background hourly, I am actually more conscious of my breath for more of the time. I also have noted that I hold my breath a lot due to feelings, thoughts, pain, and other stimuli such as the sun, yes the sun makes me feel very tense. I think this is because it can give me migraines and I am afraid of getting them because of the suffering involved.
I missed the conference call - was too unwell and also I was asleep!
Thursday - 17/04/2014
Ha, just found out the conference call isn't until next wednesday; that's how pain and illness affect your perception, the days, weeks, and months, just fly by, and when you reflect back they all mingle into one and feel like yesterday. Anyway, I'm really pleased I haven't missed it.
Yesterday I had a really bad bad bad headache, and each time I did the body scan meditation I fell asleep. All I can say is I must have needed it. Plus, today I feel so much better, which is unheard of. Normally when I get headaches of the magnitude of yesterday, I am usually ill for at least four days.
Feeling totally wiped out from my migraine yesterday, this is not usual because I normally still have pain, so I guess wiped out is better than more pain and more tablets. The body scans today have relaxed me even further and have felt like a massaging of my muscle aches and pains, they seem to leak away the pain. It may also be that I am simply letting go of a backlog of tensions linked to pain.
Love it ...
Daily Life Exercise
I am loving the 'stop and be still', it is keeping me aware of my body and letting me know that the breath and breath awareness keep my body relaxed and feeling good. I don't know if I am doing the 'breathing into pain' properly, but I can definitely feel a change in the quality of how I feel.
Friday - 18/04/2014
I expect I will be rather sparse in my posts for the week to follow, my husband is off work and he will want to get out and about and do stuff! I love having him home, but I find I struggle incredibly to keep up with him. Today we are collecting our electric bikes - yippee - at least that will take off the pressure, something else can take me out and about. Will post a picture later today ...
Saturday - 19/04/2014
We went out for a bike ride today, in the beautiful weather, in Beautiful Cumbria. A funny thing happened, we took our spare batteries and after an our out Andrew realised we'd forgotten the keys and you can't change the batteries over without the keys. So he rode all the way home for them while I sat in the sun on a bench overlooking a beautiful scene (see Electric Bikes ...). Whilst I sat there I logged into the MfH course and did a body scan with my eyes open looking out over the scene. I really truly enjoyed it. But now I am absolutely done in, even though the bike is electric I still have to do some work, which has made me ill.
Sunday - 20/04/2014
PJ day ...