Breathing. It’s easy right? Most of the time we don’t think about it.
This involuntary action keeps us alive and kicking, but when we’re intentional about it for moments in time, we’re not just surviving, we’re thriving, baby.
Tired of laying your head down to rest only to be bombarded with intrusive thoughts? Like … is the IRS coming to get me? Did I say something off-color at the function that made me look like an idiot? Is my situationship on the path to growth, or am I wasting my damn time? Are we entering World War III?
Before you reach for that zillion-mg weed gummy yet again, clenching your jaw until mindless bliss kicks in and sends you into a medicated slumber, try … breathing. Intentionally.
Alyse Bacine, breathwork practitioner, spiritual mentor, and CEO of Alyse Breathes, helps us understand exactly why it works, and how to do it. It’s free. It’s powerful. It’s your tool for life.
“Breathwork immediately brings you into the present moment where the past and future don’t exist,” Alyse begins.
Ah, being present. Heard of it. Impossible to get there even though we’re literally … here?
“When you’re not replaying the past in your mind, or worrying about what’s going to happen in the future, you get out of your mind and into your body where you can experience a sense of relaxation.”
She goes on to share, “During breathwork, you also have the chance to process and release suppressed emotions that cause anxiety. The breath calms the nervous system and gets you out of fight-or-flight mode. Many people begin to feel a deep connection to all that is and, therefore, experience a heightened state of peace. From this centered place, people have inspiration and creative ideas, which they typically wouldn’t be able to access otherwise.”
Please, Goddess Almighty, help us tap into this. We deserve it. But when we want the power of now to drop us into restorative oblivion, start with the nose.
“Slow breathing in and out through the nose is a great method to help you go to sleep. It’s more meditative, intended to relax the nervous system,” Alyse says.
Here’s how it goes:
“Imagine that the breath is coming in through the bottoms of the feet and up to the top of the head. Then, when you exhale, imagine the breath is moving from the top of your head out through the bottom of your feet. Repeat, so the breath is moving in a circular motion throughout the entire body, relaxing even more deeply on every exhale.
“Envision a golden bubble of light around your head. Imagine that the golden light is clearing all of the thoughts in your mind, so you are simply focused on the inhale and exhale. As you continue to breathe, imagine the same bubble of golden light around your heart. Imagine it getting larger and larger in all directions so there is a golden bubble of light around your entire body, making you feel safe, supported, and relaxed. Continue to breathe the same way, visualizing the golden bubble of light around your body, holding you in a safe and loving space until you fall asleep.”
And trust us on this, it works. The imagining takes a little mindfulness, but with that visualization, who has space for intrusive thoughts?
“Breathwork before bed facilitates a deeper, more restorative sleep. Since breathwork is an incredible tool for connecting with yourself and creating a sense of safety within yourself, you get to drift off to sleep feeling safe, relaxed, connected, and held.”
Alyse? Is that you hugging us right now? No. It’s ourselves. (But if we see you on the street, we are hugging you. Be warned.)
Alyse goes on to share that breathwork is an incredibly powerful tool for relaxation, “as well as for healing and transformation. When you regularly practice breathwork, things just begin to change for the better. You start to understand yourself more deeply, and you naturally begin to shift out of patterns or challenges that you used to repeat over and over again. More importantly, it connects you more deeply to the truth of who you are! This gives you the confidence to break free from doing what you think you ‘should’ and more easily live life on your own terms.”