Seasonal Breathing (Created by Ian Banyard - Cotswold Natural Mindfulness)
I first came across 'seasonal breathing' during my training as a natural mindfulness guide. The technique is a nature inspired take on box breathing and it can help you not only focus and calm your breathing but also tune into the seasons as you do so.
Step one; Spring-refresh. Slowly take an in-breath. As you breathe in - consider SPRING. You may liken your in-breath to new life, life force, awakening, refresh, re-energising or whatever the season 'spring' brings to mind.
Step two; Autumn-release. Slowly breathe out. As you breathe out - consider AUTUMN. You may liken your out-breath to release, shedding, easing or whatever autumn in nature brings to your mind. Now we shall add summer and winter.
Step three; Summer-relax. After the SPRING in-breath - hold and relax your breath and consider SUMMER. You may think about nature relaxing, unwinding, and letting go or whatever summer in nature brings to your mind.
Step four; Winter-rest. After the AUTUMN out-breath - rest a while before you breathe in again and consider WINTER. You may think about stillness, calm, hibernation, inactivity or whatever winter in nature brings to mind.
This exercise can help you to become more mindful of your body and your fluid movements within your environment.
Walking at a pace that is comfortable for you, although you will get more out of this exercise if you walk at a fairly slowpace.
Step one - as you take your first step, breathe in and become mindful of the way your foot connects with the earth. There is no need to take a deep breath - only if you would like to.
Step two - moving forward, as your other foot connects with the ground - let your breath leave your body.
So in effect, you are in-breathing with one foot and out-breathing with the other. As you breathe, connect mindfully with your foot as it touches the ground - what does that feel like - can you feel lumps and bumps underfoot or is it smooth? What do you hear as you place your foot on the ground - twigs breaking, grass moving, mud squelching? Think about the mechanical process of being able to place your feet one in front of the other as you move forward. Think about the ankle and the knee joints and the muscles moving with synchronicity to propel your body onwards.