60MM Roundup: Manage your mind, manage your life
10 January 2014 - Claudia Goldblatt

This week’s 60 Minute Menu was led by Impact Hub King’s Cross member, Bhavini Vyas, and focused on how we can use the breath to help become more productive and effective in our daily lives. The group that attended was made up of Impact Hub members and non-members, and brief introductions revealed that most of us were there to work on gaining discipline in our lives as a way to manage the stresses each of us face.

After the introductions, Bhavini started by explaining that ‘stress’ is anything that pulls us away from the present moment. Two universal laws are that the mind will oscillate from the past to the future and that it will naturally cling to the negative. Therefore it can be challenging to keep the mind in the present moment, which leads to us feeling stressed.

Bhavini then led a short exercise where breathing is alternated between nostrils, which can help to balance the different sides of the brain, i.e. when trying to work on tasks which are both creative (right hand side of the brain) and logical (left hand side). After this exercise, there was a noticeably different atmosphere in the room, which was more peaceful and calm.

Building on from the exercise, Bhavini explained how different emotional states can lead us to alter our breathing pattern, which then has an effect on the physiology, for example, the temperature of the body. This interconnectedness is two-way, so that if we are able to change our breath, we can alter the way we feel in our bodies, which can then change our state of mind.

The second exercise, which closed the session, focused on how our breath can help us to balance the seven layers of existence, which vary from tangible to subtle, namely body, breath, mind, intellect, memory, ego and self. Through a short meditation, we were able to become more in touch with the ‘self’ and therefore the present moment.

This introduction to the Art of Living program gave us valuable tools and insights into the effect that breathing techniques can have on our wellbeing.

For more information, please contact Bhavini here.