“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, Nobel Laureate and physicist
The intuitive voice within is real.
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.
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.
Think of a time when you just knew something was right or when you had an unshakeable certainty about something that turned out to be true.
That was your inner wisdom at work.
You can experience more moments like these in your day to day life by adopting certain habits such as a daily breathwork practice.
If you’re reading this and thinking: “I’m not intuitive,” I tell you that you are.
You’ve just simple atrophied your intuitive muscle to the point where you’ve numbed it out.
You can bring it back to life by first learning to control your breath.
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. These emotional states deafen with loud undecipherable static where nothing can get through.
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 inner 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.)
Osmara Aryal, MBA is the founder of CalmWithYoga.com, a site dedicated to using yogic philosophy, breathwork, and meditation to increase inner calm, mental focus, vital energy, and quality rest. She’s a Certified Functional Nutrition Practitioner and a Certified Yoga Teacher, specializing in Yoga Nidra, Yin Yoga, and Meditation. Her work has been featured multiple times on CNN and the Miami Herald. When she’s not exploring corners of the world with her husband, or when her eyes aren’t glued to the computer researching, you’ll find her on the mat, concocting gut-healing dishes in her kitchen, or cuddling with fur-babies Yodha and Molly. You can follow her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Image courtesy of Eli DeFaria.