Tis the Season to Center Yourself: A Simple Breath Practice to Do Right Now


Right now, at this time of year in the northern hemisphere we are in the winter - the period of time in which there is less daylight, the nights are the longest, some regions are getting much colder, and the plants and animals are letting go and preparing to rest.

This evening, December 21, is the winter solstice. It is the shortest day & longest night. From tomorrow onward we will receive a little more sunlight every day as we approach spring.

Tonight is a perfect time to pause, to fully release what is no longer serving you, and to take a moment to set an intention of what you wish to inspire in your life.

I invite you to really connect in with this in your body through a simple breathing practice. You can do it here in this moment.

As you continue to read, connect in with where you are in space, and become more aware of your body & breath.

Feel your feet and legs, your hips and pelvis. As you exhale feel the release of your breath.  As you inhale experience how your body gently expands, and see if you can feel the very top of your inhale.

Continue to breathe, drawing the breath in through your nose, feeling the air move in through your nostrils, and then exhale out through your mouth, feeling the air move out through your lips.

Bring your attention to the peak of your inhale and allow yourself to pause, holding the inhalation. Feel the sensation inside, the energy in your body, and experience the full capacity in the pause of the top of the inhalation.

Then feel the moment you choose to exhale - allowing yourself to ride the release of the breath.

Continue to breath like this for 5 more breaths. Experience the depth of the pause of the inhalation, the comfort or discomfort that you feel in holding the inhale. And experience the moment that you choose to release your breath, feeling the ease, the speed of the exhale, surrendering & softening your body, and if your depth of your breath increases or decreases.

The cycle of your breath happens automatically throughout your days and nights, most of the time without you noticing.

In the cycle of your breath, the exhale - the bottom of the exhalation & release of what is no longer serving you - relates to winter, the deep rest for the earth, and the winter solstice the moment in the year in which there is the longest night & least amount of light and life.

And then your inhale brings in fresh oxygen & new life, and the moment of choosing the inspiration of the inhale - relates to the days following the winter solstice - the beginning of receiving a little more day light with each day. The promise of the future return of warmth with the longer days of spring and summer, and new life.

As you bring your attention to your breath, ask yourself: What are you releasing and letting go of and what are you taking forward with you?

Be awake to something you desire to release, to dissolve away. Be awake to what it is you’re ready to release that will bring greater joy, calm, balance, and more connection to your core desires in your life.

Be aware of what is coming through in your intuition of what you want to take forward with you, what new intention do you want to set that will allow you to live from your core as you move forward.

As you exhale you can state in your mind I am releasing X, Y, and Z (those things that you want to let go of).

As you inhale you can state in your mind I am inspiring XX, YY, and ZZ (those things that you want to take forward with you).

May this simple breathing practice help you to connect with your body, where we are in the year, and to inspire you to deepen your awareness to what you want to be bringing into your life, into this next season, and what new intentions you have for yourself.

Fran Darnell