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February 2014:
Taking regular breath snacks
by Paul Dallaghan.

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Hello friends,

Although you may only have two or three main meals in a day, there is a good chance you wander off for a snack, coffee or tea at other times. If you think about those snacks, they provide more of a mental break and social purpose than any blood glucose need. (Which is good news seeing as most snacks aren’t that healthy!) But when you see them as “stress relief” then maybe they’re healthier than the label gives them credit for. Anyway, whatever you do my point here is to extend the same advice to the breath.

You may (or may not) have some kind of practice, involving movement and/or breath in the morning or evening.  These practices are like the main meals you enjoy each day.  Just like snacks, you may also see that a “breathing break” is also needed at certain times throughout the day.

You may need one every hour. You could be reading this email and decide to tune into your breath, making it deeper and slower. Find those moments and enjoy them. I advocate the idea of the breathing break as it is so effective, so easy, and can even be done while involved in a meeting. How about simply getting up out of your office chair, simply stretching and taking some deep breaths? Then you can run for a snack!

You can watch the short video below  that gives some practical tips for a breathing break. With my advisory professor this past month at Emory we have been implementing such an approach into undergraduate lectures. This is a group of 150 20-ish year old students. Their feedback is quite amazing, first to see how much stress they carry, and second to see that they are finding new territory in tuning into their posture and breath. Of course, they don’t have this video. Lucky you!

Many breaths, stretches, and snacks for you.

Om

Paul

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