Staying Focused In Challenging Times

bamboo in the wind biochemistry breathing exercise breathing practice breathwork calm chronic stress fight or flight foundations of breath lockdown meditation mental health mindfulness pandemic physical health qi gong rebalance mind and body relaxation rest and recovery stress Feb 08, 2021

It’s challenging at the best of times to keep a ‘level head’ but with a global pandemic comes an inevitable raised state of alertness which, if not balanced out with rest and relaxation, can lead to chronic stress. A certain amount of stress is good for use but things can start to come off the rails if we have prolonged stress.

I perceive a shift in psyche since the beginning of lockdown last year. At that time there was a sense of the unknown and perhaps a more acute level of stress. That’s certainly how I felt in March. I am lucky though to have the understanding of how some simple breathing techniques can help rebalance our mind, emotions, and body.. 

In March too spring was in the air and it seemed perhaps that by the summer we would be over the worst of the pandemic. We now know of course now that this was not the case.

Unfortunately it seems that I see more and more people in a prolonged chronic state of heightened stress levels that if left unchecked will have a negative effect on both physical and mental health.

Focus On The Foundations

One of my simplest go-to breathing practices to help focus the mind, reduce stress, and help create a state of relaxation is to sit quietly for 10 mins and watch the breath. 

Find yourself a comfortable space and practice this:

  • Sit tall, lift gently from the crown of the head and relax shoulders
  • Have lips lightly touching with a relaxed jaw, and tip of tongue gently resting on the roof of the mouth
  • Bring awareness to the breath without changing anything
  • Feel the air as it flows in and out through your nostrils
  • On each inhale feel a sense of gratitude for the life-giving energy you are breathing into your body
  • On exhale let go of the breath naturally and fully (without force). Let go of any attachment to tension in the muscles or negative thoughts
  • Allow yourself to experience the smooth, effortless flow of breath in and out of your body.

By allowing your breath to be slow, subtle and deep you’re allowing the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide within the body to come back to balance.

Chronic stress and negative thoughts will tend to activate your ‘freeze, fight or flight’ response where your brain tells you to speed up the breath and heart-rate, increase the volume of air you breath in, and slow down digestion to prepare for danger. 

You can counterbalance this by slowing the breath, reducing the volume to avoid over-breathing, thinking reassuring thoughts, releasing unnecessary tightness and tension in the body and letting our mind detach from negative thoughts.

Another excellent foundation practice is the qigong standing posture Bamboo In The Wind. This has now become an integral part of my practice. 

Check out the 20-minute video above as I guide you through the practice of both Bamboo In The Wind and subtle breathing.


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Cras sed sapien quam. Sed dapibus est id enim facilisis, at posuere turpis adipiscing. Quisque sit amet dui dui.

Call To Action

Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.