Breathe Well and Live Well

Breathe well and you will find your Middle Ground.

I love to breathe! Its what attracted me to yoga and keeps me passionate about how yoga and mindfulness can transform us.
Without breathing fully, a yoga practice becomes simply a workout. Rather than calming the mind and soothing the body it can have the opposite affect. This is not yoga.

The content here is to help bring awareness to how you breathe. Its the foundation for mindful breathing to alleviate stress, reduce anxiety and to live a full and healthy life.

breath awarenessIt begins with becoming aware of your breath:


Take a few moments to prepare yourself. Sit comfortably. Relax.

Begin by simply observing your breath. Get your own natural baseline.

Place one hand on your belly and the other above your heart.

Notice the rise and fall as you breathe in and out.

Let the wave of breath flow down to below your navel.

Feel that long slow wave of breath.

Now placing both hands just below the navel. Breathe as if your breath can reach your palms.

Notice how this fills the whole body with breath.

Let your belly expand as your lungs fill with air.

Soften your body so it can open to receive the air

Let the sensation of the breath move like waves. Find your own natural rhythm and pace.

Bring attention to your belly. Imagine as you inhale, your belly is like a balloon. With each inhale it fills up with air. Use your diaphragm to expand the belly outwards creating space for the air coming in.

On the exhale allow your belly to come back towards the spine.

This is full yoga breathing.

Notice – without any judgment – if this is easy for you or somewhat difficult.


Lightly bring equal length to your inhales and exhales. Silently count in your mind to ensure they are equal length.

Imagine waves coming to the shore ebbing and flowing.

Moving on to the next step in a natural smooth way


See if you can slow down and expand the length of both inhales and exhales. Making the waves longer let them flow more slowly.

Find the length that is expansive and opening. If you sense any struggle you have gone too far.

Don’t try, just step into this new space, accepting that what is good enough for your body is good enough for you.

In your mind count a number that feels long and strong for each exhale and inhale.

Let yourself be in the space at the end of the exhale without grasping on the intake.

man deep relaxed breathing


When you are ready you might want to expand your exhale making it longer than your inhale. See if you can make it twice as long.

As you release the tension in your body, allow the tension of your mind to also release with each long exhale.

Let the waves of breath flow through you.

Let the prana and life force flow through your entire body.

Come back to your natural breath and notice how you feel after this experience of mindful expansive breathing.

29 responses to “Breathe Well and Live Well

  1. The breath seems mundane but it holds great power. Breath is one thing that happens on its own. Without thought we still breathe throughout the day and night.

    Truth be told the breath can ignite or calm the nervous system, while focus on the breath can transport us to our creative side.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Marty. It’s something we take for granted, but is a powerful tool to bring healing, nourishment and energy to the body…. as well as opening up creativity and possibility in our lives 💕


  2. Wonderful Val, Everytime I visit here I feel cleansed and breathe easier.. Sometimes we forget how to breathe deeply.. And it is not until we practice it we begin to understand just how calming and cleansing breathing deeply affects us..
    Many thanks for your reminders..
    Love and HUGS xx ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks, Val 🙂 Great lesson…most of us don’t breathe fully and when we learn how to…wow…what a difference!!
    I wanted to tell you that I have been doing yoga regularly for two months now…since we met here on WP I have been whining that I need to get back into yoga…and now here I am. It has not been easy to find the balance between pushing myself and pushing too hard…but it has been an incredible journey so far and SO MANY things are better because of it!!
    Much love to you ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Good reminder. Mindful breathing is so powerful ~ calming, soothing, invigorating.

    I am thankful that my breath continues to flow even when left on auto-pilot. If it didn’t, we’d often find ourselves gasping for air. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This reminds of something my mother and I talked about recently. She took her first yoga class, and while she liked it, she wasn’t keen on “all that breathing and stillness stuff.” Part of it might be her personality, since she doesn’t like sitting still for long. But I remember hearing that and thinking how she’s missing out on the full breadth of yoga’s benefits by not paying attention to her breathing. To me, the focus on breathing is what has made yoga such an important part of my life the past couple years. If I wasn’t doing yoga, breathing exercises, and meditation, I would probably have anxiety attacks every day.

    As always, thank you for writing such beautiful and necessary reminders for us, Val. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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