Three-minute breathing space: a resource

Dr Agne Straukiene, lead for the healthy lifestyle workstream in our national programme to raise the bar for MS, recommends starting off any health and wellness clinics with a simple three minute breathing exercise.

You can use it alongside our online 'disease-modifying lifestyle' clinic pre-recorded resource to open your virtual, or physical clinic. Simply read, or modify, the words below to encourage a calming of the mind and a focus on the present for everyone joining the clinic.

Three minute breathing script

This is a 'Three-minute breathing space' meditation. Ideally, try to be somewhere where you are not going to be disturbed for three minutes. It can be done anywhere really. Whilst you are waiting for a tube to arrive, or a computer to reboot - just don't do it while you're driving.

Choose a position of stillness where you are comfortable - whether sitting, or lying down, or standing. This exercise will help you to switch from 'doing' or 'fixing' mode to 'being' mode, just being present now.

To begin with, try to notice your body and relax it. So, shoulders are relaxed, your jawline is loose, the forehead is flattened. Try to have a sense of your spine being straight, and if you’re able to, or feel comfortable to, gently close your eyes or soften your gaze downwards.

In this practice we will start with a wider perspective, then narrow down to the breath and then re-focus back out again to your whole - body, mind. A little like an hourglass shape.

Let’s begin by becoming aware of your body. Notice how your body feels where you are - the connection of your feet with the floor or surface they're resting on, the connection of your base to the chair or the surface you're resting on.

You may notice any tension you might be carrying, body muscle tension, or emotional tension.

Bring your awareness to your breath, to the movement of your breath

Perhaps you notice the air coming around your nostrils. With each breath you might notice a gentle rise and fall of your belly.

So stay with the breath, focusing on how you feel as you breath in - and as you breath out.

Now leave the breath and enlarge your awareness, coming from a more narrow perspective to fuller one. You might be becoming aware of your body as a whole again, the space around you and particularly the space behind your head, the space behind you or above you.

Let's bring awareness to what you can sense. Are there any sounds you can hear? Can you become aware of a sense of touch, the feel of your clothes against your skin, warmth or coolness? Perhaps you notice a taste in your mouth.

Then become aware of the environment around you again.

Please congratulate yourself for giving yourself this time.

When you are ready, please open your eyes gently or refocus your gaze on your surroundings.

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