"When you are upset, when you are not contained and you are feeling very bad, just take a long deep breath. It will not take more than a minute and a half for you to be content." - Yogi Bhajan
While a minute and a half of breathing may not be enough to ease the grief that many people feel today, here's a reminder to give it a go. Not just today. Everyday.
We have the power to breathe. We have the power to love. We have the power of our own presence in this moment. We have the power to choose how we act and react, no matter what our circumstances.
Simple Instructions for Long Deep Breathing:
- Straighten and elongate your spine, whether you’re sitting or standing.
- Inhale slowly, moving your belly outward. As you do so, you’re automatically drawing your diaphragm down.
- Then, exhale slowly, moving your belly in, bringing your navel back to the base of your spine, which pushes your diaphragm up and the air out of the bottom of your lungs.
- As you begin to feel comfortable, increase your inhale and exhale to each last 3 seconds long. Then, try 5, 10, 15, 20 seconds. Slow down your breath. Slow down your mind.
I’ll leave you with another set of wise words from Yogi Bhajan, master of Kundalini Yoga and meditation, who brought the beautiful technology from India to the United States:
“Those who understand life and love have endurance. They do not act childish, and they do not act passionate and entangle themselves in commotion and neurosis. Their words are like jewels and they are conscious like the brightness of God, and their strength is like Infinity. These are the people who really are the beloveds of God, and they enjoy love as the last chance of life.
Otherwise, Maya is so bewitching, people forget their reality and they forget so badly, that at the last day, they can’t remember why they didn’t prepare for the last day. You prepare in your life for tomorrow. There is no tomorrow. Every tomorrow shall become today to face you, and today you always face. But the day you start preparing for that last day by reminding yourself, ‘When I quit the planet, what legacy am I going to leave behind? And what link shall I have with Infinity’ — then you are liberated.”