Male Announcer: You’re listening to From Pain to Possibility with Susi Hately. You will hear Susi’s best ideas on how to reduce or even eradicate your pain and learn how to listen to your body when it whispers so you don’t have to hear it scream. And now here’s your host, Susi Hately.
Susi: With this episode I want to wish you a very, very Merry Christmas. It’s a little treat for you, we’re going to walk you through a relaxing body scan breathing exercise for you to enjoy when you've got a moment, when you can just this lie down, sit in your La-Z-Boy, and just let the world stop for a moment. So, let's get going.
Find a comfortable place, whether you're in sitting or in laying down. And as you're here, ask yourself if you can be 5 to 10% more comfortable. Press pause on this and do whatever you need to do to get that comfortable and then begin to connect with your body.
Then, let's notice your feet first. Feel your toes and the spaces between your toes, your heels, and your ankles, and then up through your shins and into your knees. And through your thighs up to your hips, and into your pelvis. Feel your belly, noticing the breath come in and the breath go out. Like you're on a boat and the waves are taking the boat up and then bringing the boat down.
And if you feel like your brain is starting to fade off or start thinking, just pull yourself back to the inhale and the exhale. Keeping in mind that when you start thinking, those thoughts are of the past or the future, and when you bring your focus to your breath again, that's the present moment. And to also remember that really the distinction between a highly trained meditator and someone who’s starting out, is simply the ability to notice when they've fallen off the breath and then to bring themselves back.
So, each time you notice yourself either fading away or thinking about something, just gently lasso your brain back with a breath, back to that inhale and exhale. You might even feel how your breath moves your rib cage, or how it's in your armpits, how it comes in through your nose.
And with that awareness of your breathing, now bring your attention to your hands, the palms of your hands, your wrists. To your elbows and your shoulders, feeling your whole arm on both sides.
Inhaling easy, exhaling easy. Feeling your neck, and your head, the inner corners of your eyes, the space between your eyebrows, the top of your head, the back of your head. And now notice the whole backline of your body, whatever it’s touching. From the back of your head through your shoulders, your back, your legs, your heels. Now feel the front of you, your feet, front of your legs, your pelvis, your belly, your chest, your face. So, you feel the back and the front.
Now include the sides. Now from this state, we're going to move into noticing your breathing in a very particular way. Want you to imagine that you can breathe through your left hand. I know that might sound a bit crazy. But just imagine that you've got a set of nostrils in your left hand, and that no longer do you breathe through your nose or your mouth, but through your hand. So, imagine you can breathe through these imaginary nostrils in the palm of your hand. And then feel the nostrils in your forearm, and then up into your left elbow, and your left upper arm.
Feel your whole left arm, breathing through your whole left arm like you've got nostrils all along that left arm. Now imagine that you can feel, not only that left arm, but also the left side. So through your torso on the left side, down your leg, through your left foot. So, that now you can breathe through the entire left side as if you've got nostrils through that left side of your body. Two more cycles. When you finish that second cycle, then move over to your right hand and let's start by breathing through that right hand. So now the nostrils are in the palm of the right hand.
Then into the right forearm, in the right elbow, in the right upper arm, and the armpit, feel the whole right arm. Breathe through the right arm and let that move to the right side, the right torso, the right leg, the right foot, your right side of your neck and face. So you're breathing through the right side of your body.
Okay, now breathe through both sides of your body now. So feel like you can breathe through both hands, both arms, the whole body. From your feet, to your head, inhaling and exhaling.
Now we’re going to take this to another level. Exhale and then inhale through the right side of your body. Now you're going to exhale through the left side of your body. At the end of the exhale, you'll now inhale through the left side of your body and exhale through the right.
Inhale through the right, exhale through the left. So it's like alternate nostril breathing, but it's alternate sides of the body breathing. Inhale through the left, exhale through the right. Let's go one more cycle. Inhale through the right, exhale through the left. Inhale through the left, exhale through the right.
Now breathe through your whole body, equally, both sides. Notice, how you feel the front and the back and the sides of your body, as you inhale and as you exhale. Five more breaths, count them on the exhale. When you finish your fifth breath, let the technique go. And just breathe as you know breathing to be, with the awareness on your breath in your nose and out your nose. And as you do that, notice the quality of your breath, notice the state of being in your brain and how your body feels. Notice what you are aware of and what you're connected to.
Has the quality of your breath changed? Has the quality of your state of being or your body changed? If this breathing technique was interesting and it piqued your interest for more understanding of the impact on breathing and yourself, your body, your state of being, on your vitality, your stamina, your health, then you’ll really enjoy Mechanics of Breathing. It’s a program that I’m leading beginning this January and you can find information at mechanicsofbreathing.com, which is in the show notes. I look forward to seeing you there. And in the meantime, have a fantastic Christmas season.