The way we breathe is strongly linked to the way we feel. When relaxed, we breathe slowly, and when anxious we breathe more quickly.
When we inhale we take in oxygen (O2), creating a waste product carbon dioxide (CO2) when we breathe out. With relaxed breathing, the levels of O2 and CO2 we produce are balanced, allowing us to function efficiently. Exercise too leads to an increase in breathing rate to take in more O2 to fuel the muscles, thereby producing more CO2 being expelled, and the O2/CO2 levels are balanced. However, when we are anxious our breathing rate increases and this same process applies but our bodies are not working any harder ie we are not necessarily exercising and not using up any extra O2 and thus the CO2 level in blood concentration drops, creating a state of alkalosis. This is why we feel light-headed, tingly, clammy and sweaty.
A few weeks ago, I was sitting in my meditation space and watching the rays of the early morning sun bringing things to life in the room around me. The light flooding through the windows had ribbons of colour as they hit the ground, and there was vitality, freshness and ‘prana’ in the air I breathed in. There is something special about dawn, and I began to contemplate the interconnectedness between living things and the earth’s energy.
Later on, in my desk research I read about a phenomenon known as Schumann’s Resonance, which is like the Earth’s heartbeat - a pattern of electro-magnetic waves that sit between the Earth surface and ionosphere (this is a layer of Earth’s upper atmosphere that is ionised by the sun and cosmos).
The start of a brand-new year brings with it the promise of new beginnings, growth, change and good times. While our personal perspectives of the times we’ve left behind may be very different based on the experiences leading to them, most ‘bags’ of experience come with a mix of good, bad, ‘meh’, bizarre or more (insert your word here!)… and the natural tendency afterwards is to push ourselves to increase/ replicate/ decrease/ erase these experiences.
The sentiment to consider in this instance is ‘push’. When we push, we force our energy into what I call the ‘must-have’ zone. The issue with this is if that one thing isn’t reached, it typically creates a sense of lack or disappointment (or similar). That’s not to say that purpose, direction and goals aren’t important; rather, it’s our approach that makes the difference.
With this in mind, instead of the ‘must have zone’ or that one thing, I have decided to take on the yogic approach of adopting a ‘sankalpa’ for 2019, which is similar to an intention. For instance, when life becomes about managing a whole lot of moving parts – family and friends, jobs, relationships, finances, bucket lists (in no particular order!) - most of us tend to multitask for efficiency in juggling these. The end result (typically) is less presence, more detachment, more anxiousness and lesser enjoyment of the ‘journey’ and the task. So this year, I intend on doing less, to do more.
Check out this blog post below with a few more of my thoughts on how to get more done in a day while staying balanced, relaxed and content..