I was gifted the book called "Deep Listening" by Jillian Pransky. It is a beautiful book that I highly recommend. From there the following breathing exercise is inspired. There are 3 elements to the practice: Pausing, Breathing and Welcoming, which I have elaborated on just below here.
I Hope you enjoy it and find it as useful I have.
When we pause, we give ourselves space to be present. Pausing creates an opportunity to check in with ourselves.
As we pause, we begin to breathe. Absorbing oneself into work, projects or conversations, we move all our attention away from our body and mind, to give everything we have. In those moments we often sacrifice our breath and begin to breathe in unhealthy breathing patterns. Suddenly we are not able to give all that we have to offer in the best way. We can reverse this, by pausing throughout the day. When we pause, we enable ourselves to breathe in ways that keeps us grounded, present and with an expansive awareness.
When we welcome our breath and ourself, we show up more. Upon feeling welcome, we relax. When we relax, we breath deeper. Through deeper breaths, we are able to remain calm in challenging situations. When we are calm our thoughts and inner voice speak to us sweetly and encourage us to be who we, with what we have right then and there.
The following practice gives you a tool to pause. It is super simple and takes just a few moments. All you need is simply you as you are right now.
The 4 Welcoming Breaths
Reading through the instructions, then shifting your body into a comfortable posture with the spine straight and sitting quietly, perhaps with the eyes closed.
Your Body - A Three Story Building
Imagine your body to be a three-story building. A lift goes along your spine. The third floor is from your crown to your heart. The second floor is from your heart to your navel. The first floor is from your navel and to the earth.
Your Breath - A Lift
Inhale and imagine or feel the sensation of the lift going up along the spine, all the way to the crown of the head. As you exhale let the lift journey to your heart, the third floor. With your inhale the lift doors open and here let the fresh breath travel into the front of your heart, like a breeze, a gentle wind. As you exhale the lift doors close and the next stop is the second floor by your navel. Inhale and envision the lift doors opening and the inhale blows into the front of your abdomen. Once again exhale as the lift journeys to the first floor, here, the doors open as the breath travels into your lower body parts. Relax and ground with your exhale.
Repeat this two more times
1st time breathing into the front at each floor
2nd time into the back at each floor
3rd into the side at each floor
On the last round, when you get to the first floor, the floor closes to the earth. As the doors open, imagine someone waiting for you there. A friend, a family member or a pet stands to welcome you, greeting you lovingly, embracing you sweetly. Notice how you feel.
Sit for some moments, welcoming each breath and yourself.