CURE Community Vlog: Breathing Techniques to Use During Quarantine

May 9, 2020
Ian Macleod

“In 16 seconds, we can really bring our consciousness to the present moment.”

During this self-quarantine time, it can be easy to get lost in our thoughts and emotions if we’re by ourselves. We might feel alone.

There is an idea that when things go bad or things are falling apart, we typically run the other way. We dive into things that will distract us or keep us feeling happy, instead of really sitting with those things that make us feel uncomfortable.

I typically teach a simple practice. Meditation is considered difficult, but I really believe everyone can meditate because everyone can breathe.

In 16 seconds, we can really bring our consciousness to the present moment. So, just breathe in and out. Then, as you breathe in through your nose, belly and chest, that is an in-breath. As we breath out, that is an out-breath.

We breathe in, out for 16 seconds. Breathe in for four seconds, pause, for four seconds, exhale for four seconds and hold for four seconds.

For 16 seconds, if we put our attention in our breath, all of the sudden, we’re not focused on the future or the past. We’re right here in this moment.

It’s stringing together all of these breaths — 16 seconds followed by another 16 seconds. I do a morning and afternoon meditation for a few minutes. It’s a small practice that is just science, but it allows us to cultivate the ability to be with ourselves, to really look within and go “You know, who am I in this isolation? What are the things that I’m holding onto that no longer serve me? How do I empty what is full and how do I fill what is empty?”

You can start to feel like you are enough. We feel very compelled at this time to create, get stuff done. I’m guilty of going through my bills and doing spring cleaning. This is the period where I get everything done and when they open the gate, I’ll go out in the world and I’ll be ready.

But that can also create a constriction that leads to disappointment because we can’t do everything. Some days I think, if I get up and I make my bed, and I play with my children, and I read a book and I walk the dog. That’s enough. I should just be kind to myself and know that it’s enough to just be here.

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