By Susan (Shuchi) Helene Kramer
Have you ever suddenly felt stressed? Has a teacher’s question put you on the spot? Have you looked at test questions and drawn a blank? Here is a very short meditation to help out in those stressful moments, so you can feel relaxed and calm again.
Do some regular breathing like this: Breathe in counts 1, 2; breathe out counts 3, 4; breathe in counts 1, 2; breathe out counts 3, 4; and continue on in this even breathing pattern. Just a few moments of even breathing gives you a chance to relax and get back in control of the situation again. It is an “instant meditation,” recovering your peace and balance immediately.
Especially with a test, taking half a minute or more just to concentrate on breathing evenly stops those racing thoughts of “Oh no, I’ve forgotten everything!” Taking this short time out for counted breathing calms both your body and mind. It is a short but sweet way to gain control on a moment’s notice.
Breath is a tie between body and mind that helps each aspect come back into the harmony of working together successfully.
In the same way you can control the stressed out mind by doing even regular breathing, you can calm your body when stressed. For example, if you have been running and need to rest you can gradually slow your pace and aim toward the even breathing technique. When you don’t have time for a longer sitting or walking meditation during the day, you can still use this brief “meditation on the breath” to get going on a positive track again. Another benefit is that no one will know you are doing the even breathing to regain control, because breathing is an invisible activity.
If you are restless at bedtime the “instant meditation” can calm you and relax your body. Lie on your back in your sleeping position and begin the even and rhythmic breathing at the rate you regularly breathe. Harmony will soon reign at your sleeping time.
In summary, use the “instant meditation” of even breathing in and out at your regular pace to calm your mind and body at a moment’s notice. By regaining peace and harmony you’re better set to solve problems or do what is necessary in the moment.
Breathing made even
Results once again
In calm, collected living.
(Photo credit, above: Sraddha Van Dyke)
Susan Helene Kramer (Shuchi) has been a devotee of Sri Gurudev Swami Satchidananda and a Yoga practitioner since 1976. She is the mother of 5 and writes on practical spirituality, dance, family and social issues. Her books are listed at her web site: SusanKramer.com