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FALL IS THE TIME TO EXHALE
As the Fall season begins and we prepare our minds and homes for the upcoming cool, crisp and at times downright cold months, a busy and complicated life can sometimes help us forget how important it is to take a little time and reflect on the series of transformations taking place. Not only in nature, but also the transformations occurring within each of us. We will all experience the autumnal shift in some form or another in both our consciousness and subconsciousness. For some it will be monumental, for others the shift will be subtle and barely noticeable, but regardless of how you experience them, the changes will happen.
That is when mindful breathing comes into play. One metaphor I love and use often is this one: Let’s think of the four seasons as the four parts of a breath cycle. Fall is the exhale, Winter is the space between the exhale and the inhale, Spring is the start of the inhale with Summer being the fullest part of the inhale. Breathing is the very essence of life, and apart from sustaining life, the mind, body and breath are so intimately connected, that they deeply influence each other. Only when you become aware of your breathing and learn how to train it, will your body and mind begin absorbing more oxygen and leave you feeling more energized. With mindful breath practice, you can go from unhealthy stress levels to greater mental clarity and a sense of calm that takes over when difficult situations arise.
I have created a simple mindful breathing exercise for you to try. Start with just 5 minutes a day and watch the magic happen. Now, while breathing may be the simple process of inhaling and exhaling instinctively and intuitively, breathing mindfully - focusing your attention on your inhale and exhale and the breath in the space in between, carries numerous benefits that have the potential to prepare your body for the more extreme seasons ahead.