Why is it that sometimes something that sounds so easy is so hard to do?
Becoming aware of your breath is a foundational practice within yoga and meditation. Sounds so simple, right? And yet...
Tuning into the in-and-outflow of breath is an invitation to observe what's happening in your body as you breathe. It draws you inward and into the present moment. All good stuff for sure, yet for some reason it's difficult to sustain for very long.
It can be surprising to discover how little time we spend fully aware of what's happening in the moment. We tend to distract ourselves with things and often more than one thing at a time, like watching TV, texting someone and maybe eating. We think it's relaxing but really it's just taking us away from ourselves. What might surprise you more is that what it can often take us away from is just how tired we are, or how busy and overwhelmed we're feeling. Something else that we don't want to feel may be hiding underneath those distractions.
So the next time you want to check out what's happening as you breathe, also notice if your mind wanders somewhere else, or if it starts to feel uncomfortable. Allow any of those reactions to come in as well. Are you able to just accept they're there as you continue to follow the breath? It's really a practice of allowing and accepting. Enjoy the discovery.