Do you ever get stressed out on your commute? Rush hour traffic, delays, packed out trains, platforms, tourist and people walking too slow! At times just getting to work can be unpleasant and doesn't exactly help us get our day off to a great start.
So what can we do? If leaving before or after rush hour isn't an option and we must navigate through the dreaded tube or subway system we can try our best not be reactive to all the stress and energy around us. One of the simplest things we can do is breath awareness and infact this simple exercise is great for all stressful situations whether we are stuck in traffic or having heated debate. Both external stressors and our emotions and state of mind affect our breath.
How to practice breath awareness on the train...
Breath awareness exercises can be refined over time. After a while you may start slipping it into your daily routine, allowing you to stay calm and centered.
Until Next time.. Happy Commuting
The deep abdominal breath, also known as diaphragmatic breathing or belly breathing, is one of the best stress reducing techniques there this. As adults we often develop slightly abnormal ways of breathing. This can be due to our body taking on strained or irregular postures as result of daily and a life time of emotion and physical stresses. Sometimes we start to breath into the top of our chests using muscles around the shoulders and neck, shallow breathing, holding our breath in, holding our breath out, all of these can be a result of stress, and in turn cause us stress. This can often lead to a vicious cycle.
We are stressed so we restrict our breath = Our breath is restricted so we feel stressed
The deep abdominal breath can take us back to our most natural and effective way to breath. If you look at babies and animals, you will see they are breathing fully with their whole bodies. You will see an easy rise and fall of their relaxed bellies. This way of breathing is the most effective way to bring blood and oxygen to our brain and bodies and strengthening the diaphragm. A regular practice of the deep abdominal breath can bring us back home to ourselves and our own true nature to be calm and happy. So stop holding your breath, stop holding your belly, allow yourself to breath deeply like a happy Buddha with a big round belly and enjoy! Here is an easy way to get you started.
Deep Abdominal Breath
1. Lie on the floor, bending the legs so that the knees are pointing to the ceiling and the soles of the feet are on the floor, hip width apart.
2. Place one hand on the heart centre (the centre of the chest) and the other on the belly.
3.Close the eyes. Inhale into the lower belly, feel the hand on your belly rising, exhale feel the hand falling.
4. The hand on the heart should remain soft and still. Simply watch the rise and fall of the hand on the belly (lower abdomen)
5. Then try counting the breath backwards from 7 -1. Inhale think 7, exhale think 7, inhale 6, exhale 6 and so on.
6. When you complete the counts, allow the breath to return to normal. Roll to the side and use the hands to make your way up to sitting. Om Shanti! (peace)
Practice with Hana's Recording Below!