The lungs are a powerful portal into our nervous system offering the opportunity for every breath to be an immediately applicable tool to build resilience as we align and attune the body as a barometer – sensing, flowing and adjusting to the conditions of the moment.
Our nervous system’s ability to adapt to change, restore calm and recover quickly from difficulty – literally springing back into a sense of homeostasis, is resilience building.
With so many life events beyond our control, embodying breathing practices to build resilience and restore homeostasis throughout our nervous system is a necessary tool required to respond from a calm body and clear mind-space.
Tree branches are often seen as a metaphor for our lungs illustrating the important exchange of nutrients and creation of life force happening in this part of our body through our breath.
What if we viewed our lungs as branches of a tree and our breath as an important resource creating calm and clarity in our inner environment to consciously navigate and respond to our outer environment?
Take a few minutes today to breathe and be your favorite tree in the blog practice below. See what you notice with this short Body Current visualization breathing practice to restore homeostasis, build resilience and regulate your very own nervous system.
SIMPLE & SHORT PRACTICE:
Take 1-7 minutes to enjoy this practice. Do not underestimate the power and shifts that come through with each breath. It has been found to take up to 7 minutes to stimulate a relaxation response in our autonomic nervous system, so practicing for 7 minutes or longer can be ideal.
1) Begin by imagining or simply seeing your favorite Tree Being living as your lungs breathing each breath into your body. Tree branches and leaves as your bronchioles exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide as cellular respiration. Notice the colors of the leaves, texture of the trunk and essence of your breath.
2) Smooth out your breath with a slow exhale out rounded lips for a count of 6-8.
3) Inhale slow and smooth through your nose for a 6-8 count. Repeat this breathing pattern for 1-2 rounds to settle into the practice with a rhythmic breath.
4) Continue slow smooth natural full body breaths in and out of your nose.
5) As you imagine your lungs as the branches of your favorite tree, inhale becoming aware of your lungs expanding through the limbs of your tree as you consciously and fully receive your breath.
With each slow smooth exhale, release each breath like a falling leaf gently surrendering and completely releasing out of your lungs any sensations of grief, currents of emotions or frequencies of feelings and stored memories from the past or fears of the future.
Become aware of returning to your stable and strong trunk and core in the slight pause between breaths. Repeat for several rounds of breath.
6) You may wish to self-affirm silently on each exhale, “I am releasing….(whatever you are releasing in the moment as a leaf falling from your favorite tree) ”
And remember on each inhale “I am returning to my authentic and abiding true nature.”, as you continue this conscious breathing practice.
7) When you feel complete, notice what is arising through your awareness. What shifts are you sensing, seeing, feeling and experiencing in your mind, body and spirit?
Finish your practice by expressing gratitude to your Tree Being for support with this powerful practice.
Enjoy and keep in touch!
Shanti Medina, is a Spirit Medium and the founder of Energize training systems and Body Current® therapeutics. She enjoys supporting elite athletes and everyday warriors to live a life of well-being, optimized performance and wild inspiration through simple practices of embodied self-realization. Shanti teaches her Body Current® curriculum as a bridge between modern-day neuroscience and ancient yoga therapy and has enjoyed being part of a variety of 500HR Yoga Teacher Trainings and as faculty at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. She is passionate about empowering her clients and students to use their breath, brain and body to reveal, energize and experience their abiding true nature and innate healing wisdom through mind entrainment body-centered practices stimulating and regulating the currents of the vagus nerve.
Shanti has been gathering women together in sacred circles of celebration for over 15 years. Her “Stirring the Shakti” women’s retreats and Divine Feminine events inspire women to join together in sisterhood, transform the mundane into magic and elevate the collective vibration while celebrating the simply sacred and unleashing our wild wisdom. She and her husband Scott recently released their double-CD/download SoMAntra with over 150 minutes of ecstatic chants, sacred soundscapes and embodied meditations to ignite the innate wisdom and self-direct the nervous system.
You can find out more about Shanti, learn about upcoming retreats around the globe and schedule a private spirit medium reading or healing session in person or via Zoom at www.ScottandShanti.com or www.EnergizeShanti.com