Breath — five minutes can change your life | Stacey Schuerman | TEDxChapmanU


Translator: Tijana Mihajlović
Reviewer: Tiziana Soverino In our day-to-day lives,
we are constantly bombarded with an enormous amount
of sensory experiences that are beginning to overload
our sympathetic nervous system: loud noises, flashing lights,
crowds, advertisements, anything that’s trying
to gain our attention, which begins to activate
that fight-or-flight mechanism within our body, throwing us out of balance. But what if there is a tool
that you can tap into every single day, something that happens naturally? That we can use to reverse that, activate the parasympathetic
nervous system, come back to that rest-or-digest
mechanism within our bodies; restore balance; reduce blood pressure; slow down the breath, heart rate, before, during,
and after a stressful event. What if it was as simple
as just breathing? What if you took five minutes
out of your day just to focus on the breath? So you may think sitting in silence,
focusing on your breath for five to ten minutes a day seems really boring. You have too many things to do. It’s a daily indulgence
you can’t afford to do. You might be thinking,
“Ain’t nobody got time for that.” (Laughter) All right, I couldn’t resist. But what if it was
a crucial regiment for your health? What if by taking those five minutes a day would make a difference
in your life and your day? So, where do we start? Let’s begin here right now
with your breath. Take a moment wherever you are. Choose: you might stay seated,
you might stand up; whatever feels right for you. You might want
to stretch around a little bit. Just choose where you want to be. Then, once you make that decision, take a couple of moments
to even shift a little bit, get comfortable. Allow the eyes to softly close. I hear and sense the shifting. So, let yourselves settle. Let the eyes softly close. Take a moment as you’re here to feel the feet firmly planted
onto the ground, maybe feel the seat bones
dropping in if you’re seated. Start to feel the spine
lengthening up to the skies as you take a deep breath in. Start to feel the shoulders
softening down the back. Start to soften the muscles into the neck,
into the face, into the jaw. Take a moment here. Begin to allow yourself
permission to let go, to let go of everything
outside of this space. Let go of anything
that might have happened before this very moment. Let go of anything that you might
have to do afterwards. Let go of any judgments, any expectations
about yourself and of this practice. Allow the mind to settle
into the heart, into the body. Even begin to listen
to the beat of your heart. Welcome yourself as you are
at this very present moment: physically, emotionally, mentally. Begin to bring your awareness
to your breath, to the deep sensations of the breath. Notice the rise of your chest
as you inhale, notice the dropping
back down as you exhale. Notice the lengthening effect
as you inhale. The deepening effect as you exhale. Notice the natural spontaneous breath. Notice that without doing anything but just bringing
your awareness to your breath automatically lengthen on the inhale, automatically deepen on the exhale. Notice yourself maybe
sitting up a little taller or standing up taller on the inhale. Notice yourself rooting down
deeper on that exhale. Begin to bring in a sense of peace,
calmness, serenity on your inhale. Begin to let go tension,
fear, anxiety, exhale. Allow your internal vision
to move your breath throughout your body. Take five deep breaths in,
take five deep breaths out. After your personal fifth breath,
on that next inhale, count how many times it takes
to get to the very top of that inhale. To balance it out, count that same number
down on your exhale. You might be working
with the number of four, five, six, seven, eight, or higher. Whatever your number is, stay with it. For the next five breaths, count up,
all the way to your inhale. Count back down
all the way to your exhale. Five deep breaths in,
five deep breaths out. After your personal fifth cycle of breath, allow the count to drop away. Even allow the internal vision
of the breath to drop away. Allow your awareness to empty completely of any images, thoughts, sensations,
impressions, experiences. Take a moment here to notice
smoothness of the breath, quietness of the mind, even the stillness of the physical body. Begin to bring your awareness
back to the room, back to your physical body. Begin to draw a deeper breath
into the belly, into the chest. Slowly begin to blink
the eyes open and close as you transition back to this room. Notice within yourself,
just within a matter of minutes, is your mind more quiet,
is your breath more smooth? Do you feel a genuine sense of peace
and calmness within yourself? You’re more aware of this present moment, that everything seems
a little more vivid, a little more alive? Do you feel refreshed,
recharged, rejuvenated? Are you ready to take on
the rest of your day? Imagine if you did this every single day. Namaste. Thank you. (Applause)

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