Breathing. It is the gateway to your
autonomic nervous system. It is an action, which you can simultaneously control—
conscious breathing—but, it also occurs all the time, without you thinking about it. which is a great thing, it keeps you alive! So, when you learn how to monitor your breath and breathe consciously, you can use that to affect your nervous system. That’s why [conscious breathing] is really an important gateway to creating that sense of inner calm and peace. So often we get stressed out and [conscious breathing practice] can be one of your fundamental tools to create calm whenever you want it. Let’s do an experiential practice. I’d simply like you to gauge your level of stress right now. On a scale of one to ten, would you say that you’re five  in the middle? One  no stress? Or, ten , totally stressed out? Just note that [your rating]. Now, we’re going to breathe for one minute. I would like you to count your inhalations and your exhalations. Inhaling through the nose, if possible, and exhaling through the nose if possible. But, if you need to exhale through the mouth, that’s okay. That’s one count—inhaling and exhaling.
[one breath cycle] I’d like you to count how many times you
do a complete breath cycle in one minute. Ready? And, begin. Make no effort to control or change your
breath while you do this. Simply observe the breath. Observe the inhalation, observe the exhalation. Notice if the breath is calming or
lengthening, simply by observing the breath. A few more seconds and stop, now. Look at how many breath cycles you had. Some of you may have as few as four  or five . [very slow deep breathers] Some of you may have as many as 10 or more. There’s no right or wrong [over 21 breaths per minute may indicate a more tense state, but’s it’s very individual] I’d like you now to check in on that scale of 1 to 10. Notice how stressed or not you are feeling now. [1-very low, 5-middle, 10-very stressed] See whether or not you’ve gone down a few notches. I know that even for myself, leading the exercise, I feel probably one less number on the stress scale. Just by observing the breath and counting the inhalations and exhalations for one minute, we were able to create more of a feeling of calm. That’s an important thing to understand
and acknowledge. You can use this tool [conscious breathing] at any time in the busyness of your day
or at night before you go to bed by simply dropping in and just monitoring
your breath. Count the breath cycles in and out and out for one minute or two minutes. It doesn’t have to take long. You’ll notice even my voice got a little deeper. So it [conscious awareness of breathing] really does make a difference. This is a foundational tool [for beginning to enhance the mind-body connection] I’d like you to practice this for the next week. We want to enhance and strengthen the mind-body connection and, We can start by simply breathing. This is the beginning on your path to greater health, well-being and happiness. I hope you practice. Have a wonderful week. We’ll see you next time. Bye!