Simple Breath Awareness Technique

This kid.


Lately, in response to this kid acting in very age-appropriate ways, I have found myself dictating open letters to him in my head. For example:

To the free-loading two year old living in my house:
I found the butter knife in the litter box.
Gross, dude. So, so gross. The level of grossness is so great that I think I have to go ahead and throw the knife away.
Stay out of the litter box, for the love.

The other night I came home to find that he had shoved something foreign up his nose. Far enough up to make it unreachable, close enough to see it. Telling him to blow it out was pointless, he wouldn’t blow, and attempting a tweezer made everything louder and screamier and shoved-up-farther. Fortunately, we have the internet and on the internet I learned that by plugging his clear nostril and blowing into his mouth I could blast the foreign object right on out. It’s called the “mother’s kiss.” I know. So I did this thing, and he fought me a little but laughed a lot more, and got the foreign object out. Which turned out to be a little plastic ladybug, by the way.

To the free-loading two year old living in my house:
Stop putting things into your holes please.

This got me thinking about breath awareness. Did you know that most people only breathe out of one nostril at a time? Apparently we switch back and forth every few hours. I guess what makes it interesting is that we can’t really tell, or at least it’s never caught my attention. I was given this tip in yoga the other night; if you are having difficulty staying in the present, focus on your breathing by trying to figure out which nostril you are breathing through. Check it out. And no hands.

Simple Breath Awareness Technique
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  1. Nose
  2. Breath
  3. Awareness
  1. Sit comfortably with both feet on the floor and your hands at your sides. Close your eyes or look down with a gentle downward gaze. Breathe in and out through your nose. Pay attention to nothing but the sensation of breath entering through your nose and leaving through your nose. With which nostril are you breathing? If you find you are having thoughts (to-do list, what's for lunch, etc), allow them to melt away and refocus on your breathing. Continue to breathe in this way until you feel complete.
  1. It can be helpful to set a timer. Before you begin, choose the amount of time you want to sit (2 minutes, 5 minutes, 20 minutes) and commit to sitting until the timer goes off.
Melissa Fannin

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