We're taking our own advice and enjoying some downtime with family these few weeks. Angelle has been enjoying beautiful Northern Michigan for a couple weeks with her family and Jill will be leaving soon to vacay in Boston & Maine with her family.
So in reflection of taking a "breather", we're re-sharing a blog post from last summer on the one powerful simple tool you can use to reduce stress in just 30 seconds. Not only that, it's a hum-dinger of a tool for weight loss. No joke. The best part? It's available to you all the time and it's free. (This post is a small excerpt taken from our free eBook we wrote over a year ago on the 7 Ways to Nourish Your Life Everyday + 7 Recipes You'll Love. You can snag a free copy of that eBook right HERE for more self care tips and 7 delicious recipes.)
Women in our 14-day Reset tell us time and time again how useful this one simple practice has been for them to slow down, gain perspective, reduce stress, find pleasure in their every day and regroup after anger, frustration, anxiety and insanely rushing about. Notice we said practice. Practice is something you're invited to do again and again.
"Practice mean to perform, over and over gain in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, or desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired." Martha Graham
See below for this week's post and find us on Instagram as we share our summer stories there!
Stop for just a moment and pay attention to your breath...
Are you holding your breath? Shallow breathing? Maybe because you’re in a rush, feeling the need to quickly move through the to-do’s on your list in order to get to the next thing? Counting down the days before school begins again?
Or are you relaxed, breathing slowly, giving yourself space and time to receive all each breath has to offer?
Take a slow deep breath right now. How does that feel?
It is said that an average person breathes 16-20 breaths per minute, but to ideally receive the maximum benefits from all your breath has to offer you, a generally relaxed person breathes 4-6 breaths per minute…Whoa!
And get this, talking about how your body detoxes, 11% of waste is eliminated through the “commode”, 19% through perspiration and a whopping 70% of our waste is eliminated through your breath. What?! 70% of waste gets eliminated through our breath!? How does that shift your perspective about the gorgeous opportunity you have all the time to move things through your body and lessen your stress response and boost your health each and every day.
You are designed this way! It’s completely brilliant. And it’s an easy and powerful way to take care of yourself. And? It’s free.
If you’ve ever been to more than one yoga class, you might have learned that breath work, or pranayama as it’s traditionally called, is a regular part of yoga practice. Pranayama literally means control of the life force. Take that in for a moment. Control of the life force. Think about those moments in your life that often feel so out of control. Maybe when you’re late for an appointment and sitting in a bumper-to-bumper traffic jam or when you’re carrying a screaming toddler out of a play date or when you realize that you need to get three kids to three different places at the same time.
Now imagine that you could actually have control in that moment just by taking a few deep breaths and gaining some perspective and inner wisdom. It won’t change those crazy external circumstances, but it will change how your body and mind respond to them.
Science completely supports the tradition of using your breath consciously. In fact we now know that conscious breathing has been scientifically proven to positively affect the heart, the brain, digestion, your immune system — and maybe even the expression of genes. Yowzas. How awesome is that?
Breathing consciously helps control pain. It shifts your body from flight or fight mode into rest and digest mode, helping you assimilate all the nutrients in your food. It lowers blood pressure. There are so many reasons to use your breath consciously. Yet we don’t consistently do it because we forget to.
This week's invitation >>> Breathe, Darlin', Breathe.
1. There are so many opportunities each and every day to pause and check in with your breath. One of the easiest ways to check in with breath, is before and during meal time. Imagine the last time you ate. Were you are standing up at the counter or hovering the kitchen island for a quick bite, or eating in our car or lounging on the couch or sitting at the dining table for a lovely meal.
Maybe you’ll realize that most of the time when you are about to eat something you are standing at your counter you’re feel rushed or distracted or eating mindlessly… so here’s our invitation for you….we want you to simply take 5-10 deep breaths before you eat. Whether you’re standing at the counter, in your car or sitting at the table. Why?
You will digest your food more completely. No one has to even know you’re doing this. They’ll just think you are listening really intently to whatever they are saying. But if you do want to share, invite everyone at the table to take these deep breaths with you.
Women who implement deep breaths during our reset tell us over and over again how good it feels and how it makes them slow down and eat with more pleasure. More importantly we hear again and again how "the world (our my family) did not fall apart when I took 10 minutes to sit and breath and relax with my meal. Life was able to go along without me for 10 minutes."
2. Proactively remind yourself to consciously breathe throughout the day by writing the word breathe on some post it notes and put them in places you spend a lot of time—the car, the kitchen, the bathroom mirror, your computer screen—and when you see these visual cues, take 5-10 deep breaths. You can also label an alarm on your phone with BREATHE, DARLIN’ and set it to go off every few hours throughout the day. Instead of just shutting the alarm off and telling yourself you’ll do it in a few minutes when you’re not so busy, take 30 seconds to consciously breathe right then.