I feel there are two people inside me – me and my intuition. If I go against her, she’ll screw me every time, and if I follow her, we get along quite nicely.
– Kim Basinger, actress
Intuition. Insight. Inner wisdom.
There are many ways to call that little consciousness and voice within that just knows.
We’re rewarded when we pay attention to its nudges.
And, oh, we pay when we don’t.
So how do we hear it more clearly and loudly?
And what makes it harder to decipher?
Insight is not a lightbulb that goes off inside our heads. It is a flickering candle that can easily be snuffed out.
– Malcolm Gladwell, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
Intuition is delicate. It's like a flickering flame. Breathing can strengthen it. #calmwithyoga Click To Tweet
In order to have it burn brighter, we have to delicately and gently fan its flames with each conscious and deliberate inhale and exhale.
Breathing deeply and intentionally can calm the mind and body down enough to be able to hear what our intuition has to say.
Some evidence seems to indicate that fatigue, stress, overwhelm, fear, anger, and similar emotions are like loud static noise making it difficult to hear.
This makes it harder to trust ourselves and that wise little voice.
For some of us, our intuition has been compromised for so long that we actually forgot we even have an intuitive side to begin with.
The intuitive voice within is real, though, no matter who you are or what you’ve done or haven’t done.
It’s an inherent superpower we all have been gifted with, we’ve just forgotten how to use it.
Even if we aren’t used to regularly tapping into this side of ourselves, it’s there… Just waiting to be activated.
Many of us have become so skilled at using the rational, linear part of our brains that we’ve become like a kid learning to ride a bike with training wheels when it comes to intuition.
The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.
We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.
– Albert Einstein, physicist and Nobel laureate
Society encourages our intuitive edge to be suppressed, and this is a problem.
Living life disconnected from our inner guidance means that we suffer.
We suffer because we doubt ourselves and our choices constantly, or we keep making the same “bad” choices or repeating the same mistakes over and over again as a result.
We can also become paralyzed by uncertainty and fear of making the wrong decision.
Do we keep going forward? Do we turn left? Right? Or stay put?
The upside is that intuition is like a muscle, if we work with it and use it regularly it will strengthen over time and after a while tapping into our intuition will become second nature.
You can experience more insightful, creative, and intuitive moments in your day to day life by adopting certain habits such as a daily pranayama practice, aka: yogic breathwork.
Ancient Eastern sages and yogis have known for thousands of years that the breath is the portal through which the mind can achieve self-mastery and higher states of consciousness, and intuition is a part of that.
Your breath is like a double-edged sword. It can work for you (if you know how to use it) but it can also work against you (if you allow it to control you instead of vice-versa.)
Therefore, learning to control your breath is the first step in rising above the usual mental states of “go-go-go,” “get things done,” and chronic stress, worry, fear, fatigue, and overwhelm.
Chronic stress, worry, fear, fatigue, and overwhelm are like kryptonite to our intuitive selves.
By breathing slowly, consciously, and deeply you can begin to shift gears and move away from stress and anxiety while moving towards increased inner calm, certainty, and intuition.
This is because breathing in this way sends signals of safety to your body and brain, and these signals activate the part of your nervous system associated with relaxation, rest, and regeneration.
The more time you spend in this space and the more you activate this side of your nervous system via your breath, the more you’ll begin to hear your own wisdom.
So here’s a simple yet effective breathwork practice that will help you strengthen your intuition in five minutes or less:
It’s a super simple process comprised of three steps:
You’ll notice that the exhale is much longer than the inhale.
This is because it’s been shown that longer exhales help to activate your parasympathetic nervous system.
This is the branch of your nervous system that oversees the relaxation and regeneration response
- Sit upright and get comfortable.
- Mouth closed, breathe through your nose only.
- With each inhale, expand your lower belly outwardly as your lungs fill with air. (This also helps to activate the soothing parasympathetic nervous branch.)
- With each exhale, contract your lower belly inwardly towards your spine as your lungs empty of air.
- Inhale for four counts.
- Hold for eight counts.
- Exhale for 12 counts.
- Repeat steps five-seven for a minimum of 13 rounds. (This is just over five minutes.)
Intuition is the whisper of your soul.
– Jiddu Krishnamurti, philosopher & writer
Just remember this:
Today you’ll take between 17,000 – 24,000 breaths.
Each conscious breath is an opportunity to create inner calm and inner knowing.
You can control your breath, or your breath will control you.
Which will it be?
Choose, decide, and commit to breathing more… right here, right now. <3