MEDITATION
& BREATHWORK

Becoming more present, mindful & aware

“To begin to meditate
is to look into our lives with interest in kindness and discover how to be wakeful and free.”

-- Jack Kornfield

Image by Jared Rice


MEDITATION
& BREATHWORK

Becoming more present, mindful & aware

"Awaken your
innate inner wisdom
& compassion."
 
-- Anon

'Pause to breathe'

Pause to breathe offers a wide range of courses and programmes for your wellbeing. 
Right now, when in the midst of a pandemic and various crises arising simultaneously, one can experience a sense of overwhelm, stress and anxiety. Thus staying, calm, focused and present is of utmost importance in order to remain resilient whilst  mentally and emotionally stable and balanced.

Now, more than ever we need to learn how to meditate to still the mind and breathe optimally to instil more calm, clarity and ease. So journey with us and don't forget to pause to breathe.

Meditation as a tool for insight, clarity & calm


Meditation is really difficult to define. It consists of so many different mental exercises and various techniques of concentration, contemplation, and visualisation, interwoven in different sets of practices and often belief systems. 

The origin of the word stems from mid 16th century Latin meditat- ‘contemplated’, from the verb meditari, from a base meaning ‘measure’.Oxford dictionary says that to meditate is to "focus one's mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation."

Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness. The aim is to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.
Modern psychological research, also  emphasises the role of 
attention to get beyond the reflexive, "discursive thinking" mind to achieve a deeper, clearer or more relaxed state. 

Meditation has most likely been practiced since 500 BC in the yoga tradition often as part of the path to towards enlightenment and self realisation. Since the 19th century, Asian meditative techniques have spread to other cultures where they have also found application in non-spiritual contexts, such as business and health.

Benefits of meditation
Meditation may be used with the aim of reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and pain, and increasing peace, perception and wellbeing. A lot of research is being undertaken to define the health (psychologicalneurological, and cardiovascular) and other effects of meditation.  Here is a very useful synopsis and answers to common questions that come up for meditators by a world renowned yet down to earth sincere meditation master:  
https://tergar.org/meditation/meditation-faq/


Many definitions emphasise the roles of attention and awareness,
classified for everything from reaching enlightenment
to improving one's physical and mental health.


What Pause to breathe wants to achieve is to create a platform for secular
use of different meditative methods, with a step-by-step guide, easy to follow
and for secular practical application - mainly for increasing
calm and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance,
coping with illness, for more focus and balance and essentially 
enhancing overall health and wellbeing.

 

Check out our YouTube channel with some useful tips and techniques here.

Make sure you subscribe as we upload regularly new videos. Enjoy!

Breath is life.

Breath-work for soothing the nervous system & boosting immunity
 

Who would think that a simple and natural process as taking air into the lungs and then expelling it, can be named life-changing if practiced mindfully?!


Experts in different disciplines often interpret the importance of breathing regulation and its perceived influence on physical and mental health in different ways. The benefits of controlled breathing are countless. 
Buddhists may consider that it helps precipitate a sense of inner peace, holistic healers that it encourages an overall state of wellbeing and business advisers that it provides relief from work-based stress.


Pause to Breathe program incorporates appropriate breathing techniques and mindfulness to attain the conscious direction of our awareness of the present moment, which helps achieve harmony between the body and mind. There have been many studies that demonstrate its important regulatory effects on brain structure and function. Check our evidence-based research and articles section here.


For centuries yogis have used breath control, or pranayama, to promote concentration and improve vitality. We will introduce a set of easy to follow and clear instructions for you to use whenever in need of healing power of this most important factor to your wellbeing. It is the simplest and most beneficial thing that you can do for your health. Most people want the answers to their health to be super complicated, but in our experience, the simplest solutions are usually the best ones. In any case, it takes some practice, mindfulness and a little bit of coaching to get it right. However, when it starts to just happen naturally in the proper way, it will literally change your life.

Breathing & mood


More than ever it is probably one of the most important skills to learn how to breathe optimally to instil more calm, clarity and ease.

Certain breathing patterns have a tendency to occur with certain moods. Due to this relationship, practitioners of various disciplines consider that they can encourage the occurrence of a particular mood by adopting the breathing pattern that it most commonly occurs in conjunction with. For instance, and perhaps the most common recommendation is that deeper breathing which utilises the diaphragm and abdomen more can encourage a more relaxed and confident mood.


Practitioners of different disciplines often interpret the importance of breathing regulation and its perceived influence on mood in different ways.
Buddhists may consider that it helps precipitate a sense of inner-peace, holistic healers that it encourages an overall state of health and wellbeing and business advisers that it provides relief from work-based stress.

 

Meditating in Mountains

"You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside. -- Unknown

Aleksandra Horwood
Happy Stance
Yoga Therapy

Meditation is the true base
of our offerings

Meditation has been a fundamental part of both
of our lives for a long time... and our shared similar history of a love for meditation, reflection and inner work is what is the common grounds and true compass of our offerings and co-creation/collaborative work.

"I have been meditating for many years and to be truthful I still feel like a beginner because there are so many layers of the mind and more subtleties to uncover and discover! An ongoing journey.  From personal reflection I have come to believe that keeping it simple is the best (for me) and that the depth of the practice is what should be
more enhanced, refined and clarified. 
Which can only come with time for uncovering more clarity & compassion in heart and mind. 

 

My personal practice is to continually train and tame my mind to open up to extend more love, more compassion and more  understanding out to more of our fellow sentient beings we share this planet with. And staying grateful to having this gift of a precious human life. I think that is why it is called 'practice' - because it is like a muscle that needs to be repeatedly trained to stabilise as the mind always fluctuates.
Especially these days meditation feels like a big relief for me - to step out of the tumultuous storms raging around us in the world and just being able to return to a space of solace and more stillness, a bit like an oasis in the eye of a storm. 

 

I think ideally the best application, is to do regular short sessions - for instance a short session to start the day and a short session to end the day, ideally with a session somewhere in the day e.g. during your lunch break.  
Short sessions can be really ideal rather than forcing the mind into long sessions of meditation when there is often too much angst, agitation, fatigue or overwhelm. We need to learn to get to know ourselves better so we know the tricks the mind plays but also so we can give ourselves the best opportunity to calm, focus and clarify the mind. 

 

I endeavour to share simple potent practical methods
to support others, especially busy people,
to invite and integrate more mindfulness into their own lives which really is a constant uncovering process.
My focus is to share methods to awaken the heart to more compassion and inner peace and in order to pacify the feelings of angst, the stress consciousness, through the practice of opening the heart to loving kindness."

--Leigh

 

Leigh Taylor (Sherab)
Red Lotus Retreats &
Sustainable Human Being
 

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