#40: Deep Breathing

In these times with the global pandemic (COVID-19) and lockdown, stress levels are high. I realize that I’m not breathing deeply and I’m often sighing. The purpose of this exercise is to help me focus on deep breathing.

In this exercise we record a breath with a brush stroke. One brush stroke for each breath.

Gather Materials:

  • paper
  • ink
  • ink bowl
  • sumi brush

Today’s Exercise

Deep Breathing and Mark-Making

  • Lay down paper on top of a piece of scrap paper – as the ink will leak through the page
  • Load the brush with ink from the bowl
  • Hold the brush up in front of you, pointing it down at the paper,
  • Draw in a deep centering breath.
  • Touch the brush to the paper and begin to exhale
  • Move the brush on the page to record a single exhaled breath
  • When the breath is exhausted stop the brush
  • Repeat filling the page with breath marks

I did the exercise again with a roll of paper, two different brushes and, in addition to black ink, I used red. This time I moved the brush in a variety of ways with my breath.

Reflections on the Exercise

  • I loved this exercise. Very meditative and relaxing. I will do it again, perhaps I’ll start with a yoga session.
  • I enjoyed the second exercise more… varying the marks, the brush, the ink
  • I do feel that the first exercise is necessary to start with, it helps me focus on my breath and not on the marks I’m making.

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