Something that people are not aware of is their own breath. It sounds complicated at first or too simple at first, like selling snow to an eskimo. “What do you mean? I’ve been breathing my whole life.” Yes, but we haven’t been breathing correctly. If you observe children, when they’re born, are the most stress-free: happy, relaxed, calm, centered, focused, very positive, very confident. If you ask a child to move a big chair, they don’t have a problem, they don’t need an analysis, they don’t judge themselves. They are ready to say yes. Whether it happens or not, they come back again with the same enthusiasm. If you observe the breath of a child, it is very diaphragmatic, meaning it’s a long inhalation where the diaphragm and the stomach expand. Every mother and father knows it. If you see a bay sleeping in a crib, you will see the breath moving and the abdomen moving with it.
The first and simplest thing I would suggest for people to do is breathe full, what we call yogic breaths, meaning expanding your lungs, but also expanding your belly fully and breathe out, and the best time to do that is just before sleep. When you’re ready to go to sleep and you’re in your bed, lie down on your back and do high to ten long inhalations, hold a moment, and let go.
How you enter sleep determines the quality of your sleep.If you sleep with mental activity, thinking, planning, organizing, strategizing, then you find you stay on the surface of sleep. But if you sleep by letting it go, which the breath has the ability to do, then you find you sleep like a baby, like you used to when you were young, which we haven’t been doing for a long time.