Few things in life are more powerful than when a parent dies. Not only does the transition get you in touch with your own mortality, but it has a strange way of highlighting that deep sense of aloneness that most of us carry around unconsciously. That said, if you are a long time meditator, you are more than familiar with this pregnant space, ripe for cultivating that ever-so-special relationship between you and You.
Renowned meditation and yoga instructor Max Strom and his new book, A Life Worth Breathing, is the topic of this recent Elephant Journal post. Reflecting on the recent passing on his mother and his father’s ailing heath, Strom discusses how a breathing meditation not only calms the nervous system in times of stress, but that the practice helps to facilitate mental clarity during crisis.
As a suggestion, Strom outlines a 4 part breathing meditation intended to heal the body, calm the mind, and heal the heart.
To breathe here now helps us to be here now. Max Strom “A Life Worth Breathing”
Strom recommends a 10-minute daily practice of Ujjayi breathing – or what he calls Ocean Breath.
- Sit or stand with the spine straight
- Relax the shoulder blades downward
- Broaden the chest and remember to breathe into the sides of your ribs
- Make the sound of fogging the mirror with your breath.
Strom initially teaches Ocean Breathing with the mouth open so people can improve their technique and better hear the quality of the breath. Once the mouth open technique is mastered he recommends they move on to the traditional mouth closed breathing practice.
Read more on Strom and how to use meditation to find strength here.