Jane O’Rourke guides us through a breathing exercise to help us be with whatever difficulties we might be experiencing. Jane is a yoga and mindfulness teacher and a Psychodynamic Psychotherapist with children, young people, and families. She teaches yoga for trauma within the Trauma Service at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.
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Hello, my name is Jane O’Rourke. I’m a Child, Adolescent and Family Psychotherapist, and I’m a yoga and mindfulness teacher. Today’s practice is about allowing and letting be.
We spend an awful lot of our time trying to resist anything that’s difficult that is going on inside our bodies, or any strong feelings or emotions, but today’s practice will help us discover what the benefits are about allowing and letting be whatever it is that we are feeling.
So coming to find a comfortable seat, it could be on a cushion or maybe in a chair, and if you are sitting in a chair then perhaps moving away from the back of the chair so you can sit nice and tall. So, finding an upright spine, but not too tense, and maybe allowing yourself the intentionality of being alert for the next few minutes, being alert to whatever it is that you might be feeling.
So first of all finding a steadiness of your feet on the floor, or maybe your bottom on the chair or on the cushion, so finding the solidity that’s there. And then bring your focus to the tip of your nose, where the breath is coming in and leaving. So breathing in and out through the nose, noticing the texture of the breath as it comes in. Perhaps a slight warming as it leaves the body, and having the focus here on the breath allows the mind to have a rest, so it can just settle, and all the while feeling the steadiness and connection to the ground.
So not trying to change the breath, just being present to it flowing in and out with a steadiness and ease. And then with some curiosity asking yourself where there might be some tension in your body. Notice what happens when you do that, there might be a little bit of resistance, if your back is aching a bit, or your shoulders, or your neck or wherever it may be. Just staying present to whatever the sensations are just for the next few moments…
How intense is the discomfort? Notice how your mind might race off and try and think about something else but just gently try and bring it back. And you might notice the intensity waxes and wanes, so it fluctuates and then with your next in breath take your breath to wherever the discomfort is, filling that area of discomfort with your in breath, and then with the out breath feel a releasing and letting go. And do this a few times, so it is bringing compassion and care to this area of your body that might be feeling discomfort, you might even like to visualise the breath as a colour going to that area of the body. And then notice how that part of the body is feeling now… and notice whether you are still feeling resistance to feeling the discomfort.
And then start to shift the focus again back to the breath at the tip of your nose, feeling the breath move in and out, at a nice, steady and regular pace. Feeling the connection to the floor… And perhaps extending your focus to a dual one of being present to the breath and also whatever it is that you might be feeling or thinking. Can everything be accommodated and accepted for how it is in this moment? And if it might feel a bit difficult perhaps stay with your presence of your feet on the floor, feeling the connectedness there with the steadiness of the earth. Noticing what is happening when you are not resisting and just being with whatever it is that might be difficult.
Just taking a few more gentle breaths here and then starting to wiggle the toes, perhaps softy reach the arms overhead and stretch, giving yourself time to come back into the room whenever you’re ready.