VIVE Spirit: Just Breathing Exercises
- Lie on your back. Place your hands on your stomach (also known as the abdomen), allowing your elbows to rest at your sides.
- Inhaling deeply through your nose, you should start to feel the rise of the abdomen upward toward your ribcage under your hands. Breathe to a count of four, creating a slow and steady rhythm.
- Hold for a count of 2.
- Exhale to a count of four and feel the fall of the belly as you use your abdomen to compress the air out.
- Hold for a count of 2.
- Focus on taking long, deep and full breaths involving as much of your breathing capacity as possible. You are trying to fill the lungs with as much air as possible, then empty the lungs. Deep breathing connects your breath to the deep core muscles in your abdomen. Deep breathing is the most basic and perfect ab workout. The rise and fall of your abdomen stretches and strengthens the abdominal muscles without even thinking about it.
- Continue to inhale for a count of four, pause for 2, then exhale for a count of four in a smooth rhythm.
- Breathe in this manner for as long as you need. Start with a minute, then add a minute every day until you have allowed yourself sufficient time to let breathing relax and restore you to a state of physical, mental and emotional rest.
Phase 1: VIVE Spirit-Create time and space to Breathe
VIVE Spirit is your resting place. What is rest? Rest is more than stopping and disconnecting. We believe rest is the result of being known and accepted. Rest enables you to be in the moment and receive the gift of that moment as nourishment. Nourishment happens when the internal connection of the heart, mind, spirit and body receives breath, food, sleep, movement and relationships as gifts and these gifts are received when the whole person is present and at rest physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and relationally.
How do we find rest?
Rest is a mysterious result of alchemy. We cannot give you a “to-do” list to find rest. One of the things from which we hope you will rest in VIVE Alchemy is the venerable “to-do” list. Instead, we want you to know how you are designed to be nourished. As you become nourished and full, rest will happen. We want to encourage you to use your energy to create the space and time needed for you to breathe, listen, ask, look and move. VIVE Alchemy is about learning and trusting the design of your spirit, heart, mind and body. This design creates a whole person who feels, thinks, moves, relates and lives to enjoy life. As we stop living for results and start living to nourish ourselves, results will happen. We will experience rest, when we live as we are designed.
The path to rest begins with a willingness to create the time and space to breathe.
The first exercise of VIVE Alchemy is learning to breathe. Breathe to invite the heart, mind, spirit and body to a place for whole-person rest and nourishment.
- Breathe to be.
- Breathe to be still and quiet.
- Be still, quiet and rest.
- Rest from external distractions.
- Rest to be present in the moment.
- Rest to receive, relax and restore.
Phase One of VIVE Alchemy is to take time to breathe deeply to receive physical nourishment, to remember the physical design of the body and to nourish the internal connection that exists between the heart, mind, spirit and body. We breathe to restore a balance and flow that naturally happens when we know and trust our design and move to Partner with our Body.
Breathing is the starting point of life. It is something we do naturally since the moment we are born. Breathing is the beginning of life and the beginning of nourishment. Breathing is an involuntary action, so we don’t have to think about it. However, breathing is an involuntary action over which we have some control. On average, we each take somewhere between 17,000 and 23,000 breaths a day. Each inhalation supplies our bodies with oxygen, each exhalation removes carbon dioxide. Breathing is a physical gift that gives life and nourishment to our bodies while cleansing and removing waste. Too often we are unaware of our breath and its power to cleanse, nourish, heal and restore.
VIVE Spirit is an invitation to Partner with Your Body and create the time and space to focus on breathing and how it is designed to nourish the heart, mind, spirit and body.
How do you enter VIVE Spirit?
VIVE Spirit is a place for you to disconnect from external forces and to reconnect to your internal self. The first phase of VIVE Spirit is an invitation to create space and time to breathe in order to enjoy the many physical, mental and emotional benefits. The good news about breathing is you are already doing it. It is one of the most natural things you do. VIVE Spirit is a place for you to take full advantage of your breath as an exercise. The most basic exercises are things that the body already does naturally. They are built into your natural design and are the easiest and most beneficial exercises to whole-person health.
Breathing naturally supplies us with life-sustaining oxygen and deep-breathing exercises supply us with even greater benefits. Research shows that deep breathing exercises can increase peace and happiness, reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, help restore emotional balance, produce mental clarity, improve trauma symptoms, improve pain symptoms, and reduce unhealthy impulses, cravings and addictions.
There are many ways to practice deep breathing exercises. At VIVE Alchemy, we encourage you to keep it basic. To practice deep breathing, find a quiet place that is free of distraction. Put down your phone or other electronic devices. This is your space and time to disconnect from the external world and reconnect with yourself. Don’t worry about time. Rather, listen to yourself and determine how much time you need to just be and breathe. When the time is right, we will walk with you through a deeper journey in VIVE Spirit. Right now, just focus on creating the the time and space to be quiet, to be still and to breathe deeply.