Breathing with Trust and Gratitude to Find Balance

Dr. Roxane Chan leads a guided meditation on breathing with gratitude.

June 9, 2020

Hi, let's spend some time breathing together and finding a place of comfort and calm by focusing on our breath together. This is something you can do for yourself at any time. You need a moment of rest or if you're experiencing difficult emotions, or if you find yourself needing to return to a higher level of functioning or focus. Only takes about five minutes.

So find a space to stand or sit just for a few moments. I'm going to invite you to just bring your attention quietly to your breath. No need to change how you're breathing. If you like and you're in a place where you can, you can lower your gaze or close your eyes. Anything that you need to do that will help you release the outside world to focus on your breath. So I invite you to first focus on the sensation of your inhale, starting at the tip of your nose and gently riding down all the way to your lungs. And then focusing on your exhale as the air leaves your lungs and travels up and out the tip of your nose.

Now at first, if you're anything like me, you'll feel the breath, perhaps at the tip of your nose, maybe as it goes all the way through your nose to the back of your throat. And then the sensation will be kind of lost to you a little bit until you feel your chest expanding and your lungs filling and then you'll rediscover the sensation of your breath. And the same way on an exhale, you'll be conscious of your chest retracting and the oxygen and the air leaving your lungs and maybe you'll feel it at the base of your throat and lose your ability to sense it until it hits the end of your nose and you feel your air exiting your nose. This is not uncommon. It takes a little patience and a little imagination.

But I'd like to invite you to take two or three or four breaths, following that sensation of air and see how much you can sense as the air comes up through your nose to the back of your throat, down your trachea, to your bronchioles until it's filling your lungs and then traveling that way back out again. So just take two or three breaths, connecting with the sensation.

And then I'm going to invite you to expand the sensation just a little bit on an inhale. And as you inhale and sense that breath coming from your nose to the back of your throat to your trachea, down to your lungs and feeling your chest expand. See if you can check into your diaphragm lowering and your soft belly extending. See if you can sense that breath all the way to the movement of your soft belly and then back out again, your belly gently retracting, your diaphragm rising, the air leaving your lungs up into your throat to the back of your throat and out your nose. Just take a couple of breasts like that, feeling that full expanded sensation of your breath.

And now we're going to add one more level of awareness. [inaudible 00:04:24] invite you on an inhale, bringing your awareness of that breath as it comes all the way in, and the diaphragm lowers and the belly extends. Find a little pause here. You don't have to actually hold your breath but just wait to exhale a teeny bit in gratitude for that breath. You haven't already, you can go ahead and exhale. Exhale that breath calmly, usually with full awareness and pause again at the end of that exhale. Pause in trust, knowing the next breath is waiting for you whenever you're ready.

So I invite you to inhale fully, with full awareness and pause in gratitude and then release the breath, fully and gently and pause and trust. And then receive the next breath and just breathe this way in full awareness, gratitude, being thankful for that breath and all it brings to you and then pausing to acknowledge the trust you have, that the next breath is available to you. The faith that that breath is there and then receive that breath all the way down to your belly. Experiencing gratitude, releasing the breath, experiencing trust, receiving the breath. Whenever you need it, you can find this rhythm in yourself. So release your awareness on your breath and just check in with yourself and see how you're feeling right now. And when you're ready, return to your focus on the outside world and return to your activities with a new sense of calm and centeredness and self-compassion.

Have a great day.