Breathing for Balance
How to maintain BALANCE amidst the chaos? Try using this visualisation and breathing technique throughout your day or in a seated meditation.
One thing I have struggled with my whole adult life, is keeping all parts of me in BALANCE. I remember my yoga teacher, Barbara drew a labyrinth in chalk on our yoga room floor one Wednesday evening, back in the day, and we were all invited to walk slowly in to the middle of the labyrinth, thinking and saying what we need in our lives in that moment.
And I said ‘I need more BALANCE’. My yoga teacher rolled her eyes and said – ‘That’s what you always say!!!’ So it was a bit of a theme with me, and that was probably 15 years ago! (still haven’t cracked it.)
I have been reading Fearne Cotton’s book CALM this last two weeks and one thing that has rung true with me was that, in order to find her inner calm, she says that she ‘focuses on that inner orb of light that sits just to the right of my heart’ I closed my eyes and breathed into the space in the centre of my chest, and found that same ball of light present there, light and effervescent, like a helium balloon, UPLIFTING me. I can always take my awareness here but feeling a ball of energy and light felt new and something I could easily call on, not just in meditation but in day-to-day life.
I played with this during my meditation practise and realised that in order to feel BALANCED, I need another ‘orb of light’… but this time, deep in my belly.
I took my breath deep down to my navel and beyond, and found another ball of light slowly rolling here, in the centre of my abdomen low in the belly. This one has a denser feel to it, like an anchor, a stabiliser. It is dark in colour and it pulls me down with gravity, keeping me GROUNDED and connected to the earth. Wowzers!
I then decided to connect the two. So on the first half of the IN-BREATH, I tried dropping my awareness and breath into the ball of energy in the belly, and pushing down into the ground. The second half of the IN-BREATH, I experimented with drawing my awareness and breath up to the ball of energy in the chest, lifting and lengthening up to the sky. It was effortless, like and anchor below and a helium balloon up top. Or like a hot air balloon, sand-bags pulling me down, the balloon filling my chest and lifting me UP!
I have been practising this in my yoga practise, with my students and when I’m sitting at my computer or driving my car.
I’m calling it the 50/50 breath, as I mindfully and repeatedly come back to this delicate balance between...
being ... Grounded, Safe, Supported , Held, Nurtured
And feeling … Uplifted, Light, Free, Spacious, Expansive.
When I can hold these two OPPOSITES, it feels like the two balls of energy are like two magnets that repel each other when their same poles meet, one pushing down and one rising up. I feel very centred and calm after just a few rounds.
But what happens with the OUT-BREATH?
I discovered that the SOLAR PLEXUS, slap bang between these two opposing forces is the equilibrium point, the fulcrum in the middle of this energy sea-saw, and can even be felt as a third ball of energy, this time, it is made of fire!
So when I BREATHE OUT, I push the breath out from the base, as if squeezing toothpaste out of a toothpaste tube, and I bring my awareness to my upper abdomen and I come into my centre, and let the breath slide out effortlessly.
A few rounds of this 50/50 breath and then allowing the breath to find it’s own rhythm, and I am ready for anything! Try it, you might like it ;)