I have a hard time sticking to my meditation routine when my everyday life gets disrupted. This happened most recently when my family and I went on vacation. We went on a cruise, and there was plenty to do from the time we woke up until we went to bed. It was difficult to find time to separate myself from everyone and venture within. Many days I did manage to meditate at least a little, but it was a far cry from when I am in my regular routine and can dedicate proper, focused time to it.
Meditation is very important to me, as you may have noticed! Because I couldn't dedicate my normal amount of time and energy to it, I sought other ways to remain connected to my inner self during my vacation time. I found a great way to bring my attention back to my inner self was to connect with my breath throughout the day. I would feel my breath running along my spine, following it with my attention. I might be walking from my lounge chair to the bar to get some water, but with each step I have my attention turned inward feeling the breath rise and fall with my inhalations and exhalations. I may look like I'm only watching my child swim, but I'm controlling the rise of the breath, holding it for a few seconds, and then controlling the exhale, staying connected to its feeling throughout each cycle. I may be listening to the events planned for the day, but I'm also scanning the energy in the spine for any areas of tension. I may be about to fall asleep or wake up, but I'm also taking a few moments to consciously scan the astral spine, really feeling it as I internally move slowly from top to bottom and connect deeper to it.
The breath is our pathway between the body and mind. The breath reflects our emotions - when we are anxious, the breath is quick and shallow, preparing us for action, and when we are calm the breath is slow and smooth. The breath also, conversely, impacts the mind. If we make ourselves breathe short, quick breaths it has an activating effect on the mind. If we take deep breaths which reach into the belly we activate our parasympathetic nervous system, which has a calming effect on the body. The breath also flows along with the cosmic energy which is a manifestation of our Higher Self. It is an important part of who we are as energetic beings - who we are beyond the body.
By tuning in to the breath throughout the day, I was able to stay connected to that higher part of me which is more than this body and personality. By making sure the breath was running fully along the spine and relaxing any tension I found, I was keeping my chakra centers active and open (that was my intention, anyway!).
Of course, meditation is the ideal for inner connection and turning within. However, in a pinch, when the practicalities of engaging in the material world presented a large obstacle in attaining my daily meditation goals, I did find this inward connection with the breath a nice bridge between my inner and outer worlds.
I am an Ananda® certified meditation teacher. I am passionate about meditation and embrace a yogic lifestyle for greater wellness physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
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