009: Breathing and Mindfulness with Jessica Brazil
“Changing our breathing patterns reshapes our perception”
Left depleted and unenergized, Jessica Brazil went on to find ways to take better care of herself. She is now a licensed clinical social worker, registered yoga teacher, spiritual teacher, relationship expert and the founder of the Mindful Living Group.
On this podcast, Jessica talks to Joanne about how it all started and what her gift to the world is. Take some time to sit and meditate with her as she guides you through her Peaceful Heart Meditation practice as well.
02:37 It all started with self-care
04:29 100 mindful days practice
07:29 Peaceful Heart Meditation
Connect with Joanne:
Connect with Jessica:
“Changing our breathing patterns reshapes our perception”
“We have the power to create a reality, and when we slow down our breathe, we are able to recognize this ability”
JOANNE: Aloha and hello my friends. Welcome to the 10 minute mindful moment, the podcast where it’s all about slowing down in our fast paced world and taking 10 minutes to reconnect with yourself and the present moment. I like to call it an adult reset, similar to a child’s timeout, allowing you the opportunity to go through your day with increased awareness and less stress. I’m Joanne King, coming to you from the beautiful island of Maui, Hawaii. And I’m so excited to introduce you to our guests today, we have the beautiful Jessica Brazil.
She’s a licensed clinical social worker, a registered yoga teacher, spiritual teacher and relationship expert. She’s the director and founder of the Mindful Living Group, a holistic health and wellness center located here in Maui. And Jess is a frequent speaker on mindful living and the power of presence to businesses and groups. She has over 15 years of direct clinical, yoga and meditation experience. She specializes in treating mental health and somatic issues through a variety of treatment modalities including yoga, meditation, shamanism and mindfulness. She’s got a Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work and is a certified yoga teacher registered with the National Yoga Alliance in Kundalini Yoga Research Institute. Welcome, Jess. Thank you for joining us and I am so excited to have you as a guest.
JESSICA: Thank you so much, Joanne. I’m really excited to be here and sharing this passion and we venture together, so thank you for having me today.
JOANNE: Oh, I’m just thrilled. Can you just share with the listeners how you actually got started on this journey?
JESSICA: Well, this journey began as a self care practice. I’ve always been very connected to the spiritual world growing up in a very nature rich environment and feeling a special connection to the land. And once I began the service field in social work, I noticed myself getting really depleted with so much output. And I started diving much more deeply and expansively into the yoga path and learning yoga technologies such as Vinyasa practices, Kundalini yoga, meditation and different shamanistic rituals in order to rejuvenate and recharge from so much output.
JOANNE: Nice. That is just super important in the field that you work in. Self care is I think a priority for people in the mental health field.
JESSICA: Yes, very much so.
JOANNE: Yeah. And so what do you think the unique skill that you have has helped you to become so successful in your practice?
JESSICA: Well, just like when a flight attendant is advising us to put an oxygen mask on ourselves before we extend that to a child or vulnerable person or any other person within our vicinity. That is certainly one of the principles that I carry in my waking life and incorporate into my daily ritual, which is starting my day with a yoga and meditation practice in order to be fully charged and oxygenated before sharing my service with others. And then teaching other people that I work with a lot of the tools that I’m incorporating into the self care practice.
JOANNE: Yes. So smart. So smart. So I wanted to ask you about the 100 Mindful Days Project. Can you tell me a little bit about that?
JESSICA: Yes. This is a project that’s really dear to my heart. And I feel like it’s my gift back to humanity and that I have always incorporated these 30 or 40 or 100 day practices into my lifestyle. I shouldn’t say always, but in the last probably 10 years. And I started creating some posts in social media around the different intentional practices that I was doing and it was generating some interest and momentum. And I had a lot of people asking me: “Hey, would you help inspire me too?” And so I wrote 100 emails that have the daily inspirations and a brief write up as well, some mindfulness tips such as some breathing exercises or postures or focuses throughout the day that people can take in as they’re beginning the journey of incorporating mindfulness into their lives. It’s free. It’s my gift to the planet. The Mahalo where this period of time and that I’m in existence and I hope that people take advantage of this –
JOANNE: I love that.
JESSICA: – special opportunity.
JOANNE: Yeah, we’ll have the contact information for the listeners in our show notes, so I’ll get that from you too. Another question I had was, I know you lead empowerment retreats frequently, and can you share with us if you have any upcoming retreats?
JESSICA: Yes, I am very passionate about retreats because it’s an opportunity to carve out, creating different practices and lifestyle design into our lives, carving out some moments. I’m doing one in Bali, Goddess Retreat and truly focused on women’s empowerment and cultivating intentional shifts and changes in our love lives and how are relating with others and changing patterns of relationships, changing patterns in relating, creating more freedom in intimacy, and also just creating luxuriating goddess feminine time into life. This is a really special location that we’re doing it and we’ll be visiting temples and having daily yoga and meditation workshops, dance, enjoying each other’s presence as we get well nourished in our feminine essence.
JOANNE: And Bali just is the perfect place for this. It is just such a healing energy there and similar to Maui too. When I was there I just thought: “Oh this is just really similar to Maui.” And except instead of cane fields, they have rice fields, so that was the big difference I noticed. Otherwise the weather was similar, the island was similar. But anyway, I thought perhaps you would be so kind as to lead us in a meditation today.
JESSICA: Yes, I would be honored to. So the meditation that I would like to share today is a peaceful heart meditation. It helps to calm the nervous system and recharge the electromagnetic field as well as regulate our circulation blood and start calming the nervous system into a parasympathetic state. So this is a really helpful practice for anxiety, stress or simple reboot. We can do it for anywhere from 3-22 minutes. So this practice begins by bringing your left palm out, placing it over the heart extending the right palm out to your side, as if you’re taking an oath and then pressing the index finger and the thumb together. The thumb is pressed on the top of the nail bed of the index finger. The middle of the ring and the pinky finger are extended towards the sky. Calm seated in a comfortable position, whether that’s easy pose or feet planted firmly on the floor, finding the strengthening and the lengthening of the spine. The chin is slightly tucked and the gaze is towards the middle of the brow point. So your posture should be sitting nice and aligned and straight.
We’ll begin breathing in slowly to the count of five…
holding the breath to the count of five…
exhaling to the count of five…
breathing in to the count of five…
holding the breath to the count five…
and exhale to the count of five…
and holding out to the count of five…
allowing the breath to be soft and full and easy…
mentally inviting the chant, Ong Sohung. Ong Sohung meaning I am peace…
Peace I am…
Breathing in… Ong Sohung…
and exhale tension…
taking three more intentional breath before releasing the mantra…
And on the last breath releasing the palms, allowing them to a calming rested position, allowing the eyes to let it open gently…
noticing a difference between the beginning, prior to the practice and the present moment…
and returning to your usual state of alertness yet integrated with more peace…
And that concludes the practice. Thank you for participating.
JOANNE: Mmm, thank you Jess so much. Wow. During that practice, I just feel so calm. My body is so relaxed and I was actually able to clear my thoughts by counting with you. The five in, five hold, the five out and then the five hold again. That was really helpful. Thank you so much.
JESSICA: You’re so welcome.
JOANNE: Yeah, thanks. I just have one more question. So, if there was one thing you would like the audience members to remember you by, what would that be?
JESSICA: It would be to remember that changing our breathing patterns reshapes our perception. And in this here in the present moment that awareness comes into focus. We have the power to create our reality. When we slow down the breath, we are able to recognize disability just like we practiced together.
JOANNE: Mmm, perfect. That’s so beautiful. And if you could just tell us how our listeners could get in touch with you if they’d like to speak with you?
JESSICA: Yes. Feel free to visit me at www.mindfullivinggroup.org there’s a contact us page and there’s also an about us section, you can schedule an appointment. If you’d like to learn more about mindfulness, customized practice or learn more about retreat, then you can go to our contact page or search and browse around on the website. We also have our link to sign up for 100 Mindful Days Project there.
JOANNE: Perfect. I’m also going to be putting that information in the show notes, so everyone can access the information there. And I just want to say really big Mahalo for joining us. You’ve been just an amazing guest. Thank you so much, Jess.
JESSICA: Thank you so much. Appreciate it. Thank you for having me. Aloha.
JOANNE: Thank you.