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The simple breathe.

Breath work is something that has come up in every avenue of my learning. From netball, pilates, yoga, holistic counselling, crystal healing to the everyday dealings with our 4 children, where lots of deep breaths are required!

But this next piece of information which I am going to share with you, is probably the most profound I have ever learnt.

I was listening to “Think Like a Monk” by Jay Shetty - a gem - for anyone who enjoys improving themselves or likes garnering a greater understanding of human behaviour.

During the introduction of the book, yes that’s right the first 9 pages (I went and bought the hard copy it was so good!), Jay recalls noticing a 10 year old monk teaching a group of 5 year olds on his first day of monk school. He then proceeds to have an interaction with the young monk, enquiring about what the 10 year old was teaching the younger students.

“The first thing we teach them is how to breathe.”

“Why?” asks Jay

“Because the only thing that stays with you from the moment you’re born until the moment you die is your breath. All your friends, your family, the country you live in, all of that can change. The one thing that stays with you is your breath.”

The ten year old monk added, “When you get stressed - what changes? Your breath. When you get angry - what changes? Your breath. We experience every emotion with the change of the breath. When you learn to navigate and manage your breath, you can navigate any situation in life.”

Now I don’t know about you - but that struck a cord, a million thoughts raced through my mind. Of course the breath is with us our whole lives. That is now so obvious - why wasn’t it obvious before? Why aren’t we teaching our kids how important our breathe is? We remind our kids, friends, colleagues, team mates to breathe but do we understand or explain why? After all surely understanding helps with the action of doing something. Is breathing just something that our subconscious does and we have never truly thought to understand it?

Since learning/discovering this piece of seemingly obvious information - it has changed the way that I look at breathing.

Meditation is something that I have always struggled with - while I thoroughly enjoy moments of sustained silence and alone time - traditional forms of meditation just always seemed a little “not my thing”. However, my new found understanding of breathe has shown me that meditation can be as simple as concentrating on your breathe and your existence for mere minutes.

The restorative nature of the breathe is astounding.

Recently I completed my Reiki Mastership. During the program I was facilitated through a meditation in which I had to complete a breathing technique.

There were specific guidelines. As I lay there I had to take breaths in and out. Upon each exhale I had to count backwards from 10 - the first exhale was 10, second exhale was 9 and so on, all the way to 1. I had to complete 3 cycles of this breathing. If I made an error in the counting - I had to go back to 10 and start again.

Challenge accepted.

My inner virgo was all hyped, we are going to nail this and nail it the first time.

I had an inner visualisation going - the number 10 jumped off a half pipe as I exhaled - leaped at the other end, re-entered the half pipe on the inhale and joined the back of the queue - as 9 leaped off the half pipe….etc etc etc…..x 3 - BAM - I nailed it……but…..that is when the magic happened.

My very next inhale, post my mini excitement, I felt my half pipe turn 90 degrees and align with my body. For this to make sense I realised I had been holding on so tightly to perfecting the instructions that I didn’t even realise the inhales and exhales and been running horizontally across my body in front of my third eye. No where near my body. My breathe was detached.

While these thoughts are flashing through my head, I am realising that my now consistent slow breathe has naturally realigned itself to my body and I’m in a total state of “float” - you know that moment when you are so relaxed you literally can not feel any part of your physical body touching anything.

I was mesmerised - completely forgot counting and just enjoyed my breathe.

In what felt like not long after - my beautiful instructor Loretta regained my attention and told me the time was up. As I opened my eyes - I proceeded to explain my very weird but amazing experience.

It was not long after this experience that I started Jay Shetty’s book and I am sure that is why the story of the 10 year old monk resonated so deeply with me at the time.

I have been using this technique now for a few weeks - just when I get a moment, in bed at night, if I’m not feeling right. I have noticed that although I started with 3 rotations I can easily get up to 5 or 6 without much thought and without holding on - total connection to my body.

Wim Hoff is another notable figure who has been advocating breath work for years - guess what is next on my reading list! Until such time - have fun investigating your relationship with your breathe - perhaps challenge yourself to the activity above. I’d love to hear your thoughts on where it takes you.

Yours in kindness

Meaghan x


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