My Newest Obsession (Coherent Breathing)

If you know me at all you know I love Yoga Nidra and White Light Meditation. I love 4 count breathing (or square breathing) and I am a believer of the power of Solfeggio frequency music.  (No worries if none of that made sense, I will be getting you more info on them soon). 

But, my current love is Coherent Breathing.  The focus is on a specific breathing pattern that allows for the greatest balance within the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The brain child of Stephen Elliott, this breathing pattern has been studied since 2013 and some interesting research can be found here.

There is a lot of science and information about it but I am a big fan of just trying things out. Especially breath work. It’s free and is unlikely to hurt you. If you feel like you need more air, breathe. If you feel light headed, take a moment in your natural breath and jump back in. As an asthmatic, I understand needing to know I am in control of my oxygen intake. So you do what works for you. 

To begin this practice start by simply laying down or taking an easy seat.  The long term goal is to breathe at a rate of five breaths per minute. You may have to work up to this 6 count breath. I typically start by inhaling for four counts, pausing, then exhaling for four counts, pausing, then repeat. I do this a couple times then up my count until I reach the count of six.  That’s it. Really. But the benefits are many. 

Ideally, you want to do this type of breath for up to 20 minutes a day.  Maybe trade your meditation for this breath work for a week and see how you feel.  Or start with 5 minutes before you hop out of bed in the morning. Do what you can and make space for not being the perfect Coherent Breather on the planet. 

There is some available music to help you breath in rhythm so you don’t have to focus on counting so much.  I find this helpful and put the timer on so I can dial into my breath and not focus on anything else until the bell rings me back to the day. 

For more information check out the New York Times discussion as well.  

Check it out, try it on, and let me know your thoughts!

Much love, 

Megan

Four Reasons

I circled four reasons why I should never share this photo with the world.

After a lovely hike with my guy and some friends and a soak in the hotsprings, I wanted to do yoga in the river. So, photos of said yoga commenced.

When I saw the photos I was appalled. How could I ever post these? More than that, who let me wear a swimsuit?

I was sad. Very sad. Even with years of yoga and months of hiking I’m still riddled with cellulite and chubby. 🙁

I circled for you the four main areas of immediate concern. So you can see what concerns me (I’m sure you’ll have your own concerns).

But I just kept thinking, it was such a hard pose to hold in the water why didn’t my work shine through instead of my failures?

Then it hit me, I can tell you about the work that the photo doesn’t show. Instead of four reasons why not to post this pic here are four reasons why I’m proud of it.

1. Taking a hike down a random trail with people I care about sums up my sense of life perfectly. We never know where a road will lead unless we follow it and we can get anywhere with the help of those we love.

2. Wearing a swimsuit boldly in a body over a size four is profound (and really every woman I know sees flaws, so size really isn’t the barrier here). It’s the mere act of being happy in the body we currently possess and that is radical. So my posting this is my way of being happy that my thicc legs hiked my belly…err body to this magical river point.

3. It’s damn hard to balance on one leg, on river rocks, in ice cold water. Drishti (focus) is easy when you focus on one point but what about when water is rushing over that one point? It’s disorienting AF. But, I did it. Even when difficult, our focus is vital to success.

4. No one else gives a damn what I look like. We are all so self-involved that we care about what WE look like. It’s just like yoga practice in a group setting. No one else is judging you because we are all too busy judging ourselves (online trolls excluded from this thought).

How many photos have you deleted because you weren’t perfect in them? How many photos have you not taken because you weren’t “ready?” How much of your life is not documented because you are judging where you are?

I invite you to join me in finding four reasons why you will post a photo that will spark your inner bravery! Add the #YogaWithMeganG so I can bear witness to your adventure in self love!

As always, Namaste my loves!

Megan