The Power of Breathing

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The Power of Breathing

The more I get to know myself and others around me, the more I am reminded of the importance of taking a breath. Being mindful is about being in the present, no longer stuck feeling guilt or remorse about the past or anxious and controlling about the future. The Here and the Now. The place where we can make changes.

Healing is done on so many levels and at different times. By taking a moment to be concious about breathing, you are coming out of your brain and thoughts and connecting with your awareness and intuition. Your gut instinct and your primal needs. You are taken away from society’s pressures and the medias propaganda. You release money troubles, health anxieties, body weight stress, parenting woes, work restrictions or whatever else you are thinking about that you have no power over. You are re-plugging in to you- the real you, and that is incredibly powerful.

Sounds easy and it can be as easy as 1,2,3

1. Stop (close your eyes is completely optional)

2. Breathe in (listen and feel the breath fill you up)

3. Breathe out (listen and feel stress and tension leave with your breath.

Even if that is all you do. That can be enough- it is a great start.

Here are some more exercises I have learnt over the years;

Counting breaths; 

Close your eyes and focus on your breathing.

Try and breathe in for a count of four and out for a count of four. Repeat this a few times (4-6 times)

Increase time to breathing in for a count of 6 then out for a count of 6. Repeat this a few times (4-6 times)

Increase this to breathing in for a count of 8 then out for a count of 8. Repeat this a few times (4-6 times)

( OPTIONAL)Spend some time her picturing yourself in a favourite place or looking at yourself in the mirror and seeing yourself as the perfect you.)

Return to breathing in for a count of 8 then out for a count of 8. Repeat this a few times (4-6 times)

Return to breathing in for a count of 6 then out for a count of 6. Repeat this a few times (4-6 times)

Return to breathing in for a count of 4 then out for a count of 4. Repeat this a few times (4-6 times)

This can take as long or as little time as you have!

Rainbow breathing; (This is great for kids) 

rainbow breathing loulanatural pin

Stop the bus

This is best done when you are pressed for time, need to meet a deadline, are stalling doing something that really needs doing, cant wait, cant stop! Its amazing how little it takes to stop, re-focus and actually achieve more. It is also great to use when you have a thousand things going on and you cannot get to sleep.

this can be done for 1-5 mins. Set a timer so you are not stressing about time.

Close your eyes and breathe in and out. Allow all thoughts to flow through your mind without holding on to them. without trying to solve them- just watching them. Especially when it is the last thing you should be doing! Each thought can have a shape or colour as you see it drift off. Then start to repeat, I wonder what my next thought will be…

Other exercises to get you on track:

  • Opening yourself up to opportunity is about trusting yourself and the universe to provide for you. Whilst breathing and being mindful of your breath, try to visualize all the things you want from your life. What you want to look lik, feel like, where you want to be and who you want to be with. Set a direction for yourself. Start listing ideas and avenues to pursue. Bring yourself out of pause and motivate your body and mind towards a purpose and goal.
  • List the things you are good  at. Your key skills. What lights your fire, what gets you excited? List them all and all will reveal itself- it will become so obvious where you want to go- start to follow it step by step. It may be an area or path that you never considered before but will seem so perfect. 
  • Every night before bed- try to make a list of 5 things that happened that day that you are grateful for and then what you are looking forward to for the next day. This can help you to prepare you for a good nights, restful sleep. You may even wake up refreshed and positive to start another abundant and grateful day.
  • Try to find other ways of being mindful every day- like taking your shoes off and grounding yourself, or walking in nature on one of the nearby trails. You don’t need to go far or for long, but try and do something every day to nurture yourself. Being in nature is so peaceful and restorative once you get out of your head. Ban all phone action whilst out there and even try it without music to distract your brain. Find what you like it may be water, or mountains, beaches or even just wandering through a city spoting nature everywhere. Feel like your feet are on the floor and your brain is in your head and your body is in control.
  • From an emotional level- please look after yourself. You are very important and worth care and attention. Only then will you be able to find better energy for yourself and your healing. Try to identify patterns of behavior and beliefs that you can reverse and change. EFT is a great tool for this- Eft is quick and easy to use and can be used for all ages and all areas in your life. Buried emotions can result in behaviour patterns, experiences can shape our reactions, find someone qualified to help you and practice everyday- you will be astounded how good you feel to get rid of some dragging baggage.
  • Try this meditation series. Designed for weight loss it holds all the components of being mindful about your body and connecting emotion and physical beyond weightloss. I used to listen to it both sitting at home and whilst travelling to and from work.
  • There are so many short and easy recorded meditations on You Tube (see here for who I follow) or check out the free app- headspace.

Breathing and being mindful can be done anywhere and at anytime!

The Power of Breathing Loula Natural pin

Salty Cinnamon Maple Grain Free Granola

Salty Maple Cinnamon GF Granola Loula Natural fbSalty Cinnamon Maple Grain Free Granola

I have loved alternating between my eggs in the morning and my different grain free raw granola flavours (other recipes here and here). I took inspiration from my cinnamon salty/sweet  popcorn to try to entice my daughter to try it (she is devoted to her muesli for breakfast!). I love it warm straight out of the dehydrator and served with kefir and berries. I also like it with gently warmed almond milk. Especially with the mornings starting to be a bit cooler.

It also works really nicely as a crumble topping with some stewed fruit and my fat banana custard for puddings!

Grain Free Salty Cinnamon Maple Granola
A warming and comforting granola. Great warm or cold. Serve with Kefir/yoghurt and berries.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 tsp live sea salt (or pink salt)
  2. 1-2 tbsp Maple Syrup to taste
  3. 1 tsp Cinnamon
  4. 1/2 cup ground flax seeds
  5. 1 cup almonds
  6. 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  7. 1/2 cup pecans
  8. 1/2 cup cashews
  9. 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  10. 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  11. 1 tbsp coconut oil
  12. 1tbs water
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients together in a food processor
  2. Blitz till combined
  3. spread out onto a silicon sheet or baking tray with baking paper and either dehydrate at 100F for 12 hours or bake in a low oven.
  4. Store in the fridge
Notes
  1. To have warm, either add to a bowl and put in the dehydrator for 10-20 mins or gently warm milk and add to the granola.
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
Here are my other breakfast recipes

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and my dedicated pinterest board; 

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Parsnip Rice

Parsnip Rice Loula Natural

I have been reducing my grain intake to try and reduce inflammation and heal my digestive system. Read a bit more about my journey here. I also try to avoid nightshades and especially potatoes- which I have never really liked anyway! Over the last couple of years staples on the dinner table are cauliflower rice, cauliflower mash, sweet potato chips, sweet potato mash and sweet potato rosti. We love roasted parsnips, carrot and parsnip mash and parsnip rice. I love it in the summer because it is light, filling and is delicious raw (see my parsnip couscous recipe).

2 parsnips fills 2-3 adults which is great because it it super quick and easy to make and goes great in salads, with bbq’s, curry’s, stews and anything you would use rice for. You can also steam this and make fried rice with it if you want to. 

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Parsnip Rice
A light yet filling grain free option.
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Ingredients
  1. 2-3 Parsnips
  2. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Peel and cut up the parsnip
  2. Add to the food processor
  3. Blitz until 'rice like'
  4. Serve either raw or steam
  5. Season with salt and pepper
Notes
  1. Nice with butter after steaming
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
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