Mindful Living: Put Out Your Flames

Mindful Living: Put Out Your Flames

Last month we were looking at our nervous system and how the parasympathetic (PNS) subdivision is a bit like our own internal fire department cooling the fires within, caused by stress of living in today’s whirlwind of busyness and life.

One of the wonderful ways of doing this is to use our incredible breathing system to literally blow out the flames of stress, slow down and shift into this parasympathetic state of inner peace and calm. The technique involves breathing out for longer than you breathe in because when we exhale our heart rate decreases and internally everything slows.

Try this exercise:
Find a quiet place to sit, where you can rest your hand on to your legs or belly.
Close your eyes and breathe in and out through the nose, notice your breath passing through the nostrils. Be aware of the speed and depth at which you are breathing and see if you can slow the breath down by lengthening your exhalations a little more.
Take a full and natural deep breath in and breathe all the breath out.
Inhale for a count of 4 and exhale for a count of 5
Inhale for a count of 4 and exhale for the count of 6
Recall something that is bringing stress into your life and imagine this is as a little flame.
Inhale through the nose and then gently blow out through the mouth as if you were blowing out a candle flame, literally you are blowing the stress away.
Allow the breath to return to its natural pace and sit for a little longer.
Enjoy the peace here for a moment, you are perfect where you are, as you are.

When the flames are completely extinguished, craving is replaced by a state of perfect contentment and serenity, known as nirvana (the literal meaning of which is “extinguishing the fire”) Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

I love this concept so much that I went to the extreme and called my cat POYF which is an abbreviation for ‘Put Out Your Flame’ I am not kidding. I am pretty sure my cat was sent to cool the fires in my life, but let’s save that for another article!

With love, Becky x
Experienced Yoga Teacher, Chanting Stork Yoga
FB: chantingstorkyoga