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Breathing and the Beach

The smell of fresh, salty air, the rhythmic sound of waves, the expansive views of the sea, and the feel of the sand beneath your feet...take a deep breath in and slowly let it out. When I taught aerobics and saw people struggling to get through the class, I noticed they were holding their breath. I often used the beach for visualization to remind them to breathe. Yes, my

class was challenging, but it was the lack of breath that made it almost impossible to get through. Although I didn't know it at the time, we were doing intentional breathing.

The awareness of breath lies at the heart of mindful practice, serving as a foundational anchor that grounds you in the present moment. By directing attention to the breath, the mental chatter tends to quiet down and you can break free from the pull of past regrets or future anxieties. Allowing thoughts and emotions to come and go without judgment, allows you to develop a greater sense of emotional resilience. It creates a mental space that allows for clearer thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making. This practice can be particularly beneficial when faced with challenging situations. The act of breathing becomes a sanctuary, a continuous return to the now.

The focus on breath also serves as a bridge between the body and mind. As you pay attention to the breath, you become attuned to bodily sensations and the interconnectedness of physical and mental experiences. This heightened awareness fosters a sense of unity and harmony.

The beach setting often encourages us to engage in deep, intentional breathing, which can have calming effects on the nervous system and reduce stress. Wherever you are, I leave you with this visualization: envision the beach as your mental refuge, a serene space to remind yourself to breathe consciously. Picture the rhythmic dance of waves, the soft touch of sand beneath your feet, and the expansive horizon stretching before you. As you immerse yourself in this visualization, let the tranquil scene prompt you to take deliberate, mindful breaths. Inhale the freshness of the sea breeze, feel the gentle rise and fall of your chest, and exhale any tension or distraction. The beach becomes your visual cue, a reminder to anchor yourself in the present moment through the simple and rejuvenating act of intentional breathing.


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