The Feminine Breath


This past week I have watched 2 movies that have moved me greatly and have served as a reminder of what I have often left carefully hidden away from the world – the very roots of my being.  This post is entitled “The Feminine Breath” as it is a way of breathing for all of us that has been lost, decimated, and yes hidden from our awareness for way too long.  A resurgence is riding on the back of our planet that is daily reminding us of the havoc and imbalance we have created.

Jane’s Journey is about the astounding life and actions of Jane Goodall transitioning from a young girl with no college degree boldly following her childhood dreams into an internationally recognized woman living her passion and truth through daily actions and deep dedication to bring peace, compassion, and ecological health to all life.

The film Desert Flower, is a National Geographic stunningly filmed movie about Waris Dirie from Somalia who faces life challenges that are way beyond what any of us could imagine.  Yet she chooses to step into her strength and truth exposing a mutilation practice that, due to her efforts, is finally being eradicated.

Both women demonstrate what it is to bring back the feminine way of breathing and to embody that breath in each moment of life.

Clare Daikin of Tree Sisters says:

When we say ‘feminine’ most people think, Woman, but Feminine is one side of the whole that is all of us. We all have the receptive and expressive sides, the passive and active, the intuitive and logical, the flow and the structure. The feminine is like the in breath or the roots where we connect, receive and resource. She is the source of our deeper knowing and the deep lake of our pleasure. The masculine is like the out breath or the branches, where we make manifest, build, create, grow and structure. He is informed by the feminine and takes action to serve the whole system into optimal form to function effectively. He is replenished by her, so is served by her as he also serves her.
For more of this excellent blog post click here:
It is this very “feminine breath” way of being that is crucial to our vital health – that of self, relationships, community, countries….and the planet which sustains our life.  Without connecting, receiving and resourcing from our roots we cannot manifest, build, create and grow new ways of being that live in harmony with the earth.
We are the new life form on the block!  Let’s deeply learn from that which not only has come before us but is our greatest teacher.
Find your favorite tree this week, sit down beneath it, listen, and receive the wisdom as you breathe from the roots of your being…
Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Preview and Reviews can be found here:

This Is The Way, Breathe Within It

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it.”  – Isaiah 30:21

What if within the passage below you added the word “Breath” in companionship with “Me”?   There is great inspiration to be found out in the world – within nature, our Spiritual beliefs, and within others.  But what if we realized for just a moment that we also carry something with us that can provide not only a means towards a healthy, vital life – but also guidance as we step forward.  Not a voice behind us…..but the simple breath taken in and given back out.

I AM LEADING YOU along a way that is uniquely right for you.  The closer to Me you grow, the more fully you become your true self–the one I designed you to be.  Because you are one of a kind, the path you are traveling with Me diverges increasingly from that of other people.  In My mysterious wisdom and ways, I enable you to follow this solitary path while staying in close contact with others.  In fact, the more completely you devote yourself to Me, the more freely you can love people.

Marvel at the beauty of a life intertwined with My Presence.  Rejoice as we journey together in intimate communion.  Enjoy the adventure of finding yourself through losing yourself in Me.

Take some moments this week to be present to what your breath is telling you and be willing to listen.

*A tight and contracted breath when interacting with another may be telling you to let go and be present within the moment in the fullest sense.  An entire relationship can change as it is breathed into.

*A held breath might provide wisdom as to what is making you afraid.  Awareness of this can be transforming.

* A rapid and shallow breath may take you into understanding what you may be running away from as you slow the breath down.

*A full embodied breath can lead you to a deeper enjoyment of the delicious moment before you and an anticipation of the next.

The quality of our breath and the sound it makes travels with us wherever we may go.  Might it not be a wise idea to pay attention?


Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Preview and Reviews can be found here:

Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Available Now!

Happy Birth-Day to the long awaited book that has many of your favorite posts from BreathingSpaces within the pages!!  My heart is wide open as I deliver this book into your hands, hearts and souls.  My deepest wish is that this book will be of service to those who read it and that it will encourage pauses in life to simply be with the breath and the sacredness of this life we have been given.

Here is some advance praise as well as links where you can purchase one of three options – Downloadable with beautiful formatting and the ability to print out each week’s focus for a daily reminder; e-book for Kindle, iPad, etc; and soft cover spiral bound to place in your library as a treasured resource.  For a SNEAK PREVIEW go to: or the Our Daily Breath tab on this blog.

A Road-Map to Living an Inspired Life!

Richard Cawte, Ph.D.

That says it all.

Life has become so hectic for so many of us, with so many things to do every day (and never enough time to do them!). In Give us this Day our Daily Breath, Gaye Abbott gives us a clear, easy-to-follow guide that helps us find places of calmness and deep ease from which the day can emerge in a fresh, vibrant way.

We tend to pay attention to peripheral things in our lives and yet so often the very thing that sustains us – the act of breathing – is something we barely pause to consider. What I love about this book is that it brings the act of breathing to the forefront, allowing the reader to explore his or her relationship with the world through the breath itself. It’s an inspired piece of writing, flowing from the heart.  

Giving us weekly practices is a stroke of genius, because it makes it easy for the reader to experiment and adopt new ways of breathing bit-by-bit. That’s why I love the book so much. It’s more than just a book. It’s a road-map to living an in-spired life, a step-by-step manual that invites us to align ourselves with the rhythms of the natural world – and then shows us how.  

Life throws up many challenges, but as Gaye says: “the breath is a tool to anchor you. Allow it to be the constant thread around which you weave your life.” Wonderful advice.

Truly a book to read, delight, rest and reflect in!

Richard Cawte, Ph.D., International Business & Author of the Natural Wealth Course,


Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath is a wise, graceful, kind and gently humorous guide to awakening more fully through weekly explorations of breath.
By relating the natural breathing rhythms to the cycle of the seasons, Gaye Abbott invites readers to reconnect with a sense of being at home on Earth and in our bodies. This fresh perspective combines with personal story and observation to offer valuable new insight into the healing and transformational power of breathing.

Lea Bayles, M.A., transformational coach, speaker and author, creator of the Replenish Your Soul series of guided meditations,


Give Us this Day our Daily Breath is a wonderful book born from Gaye Abbott’s decades-long practice of yoga, meditation, awareness, mindfulness and joy, celebrating the breath each and every day like the gift and prayer that it is.   Inspirational, creative, healing and practical, Gaye offers insights, exercises and easy-to-follow practices that allow us to fully appreciate and embody this act of breathing and all it contains. Gaye writes, “When we come together with another life form, we share the breath in the air that surrounds us. We take of the same breath, so to speak. Down through the millennia this has continued. In fact, we are breathing and sharing the recycled air of the dinosaurs, the very first humans, the dolphins, and the trees…In many of the classes, workshops and retreats, I often have people sit back to back and feel their own breath first, then connect with the breath rhythm of the other without attempting to change theirs. Almost everyone noticed, in a short period of time, that the breath would synchronize and become one. 

Perhaps it was always one to begin with. Through this interconnected basic biological process we can feel each other, and with acute knowing understand what is within the other – even if we do not consciously acknowledge it. What if each one of us joined another – or others – in sharing a peaceful breath rhythm. Would the world change?” 

Yes it would, and with Gaye as our guide, it is bound to. And what a joyful and transformational journey it will be. Thank you Gaye for giving us this day our daily breath and reminding us of the incredible beauty, grace and power of this thing called breath that we too often take for granted!

Leza Lowitz, #1 bestselling Author of Yoga Heart: Lines on the Six Perfections

OFFERINGS: Downloadable (Instant PDF Download Below) with beautiful formatting and the ability to print out each week’s focus for a daily reminder OR through LuLu – e-book (EPub/iPad, Nook, Kindle etc); and soft cover spiral bound or regular soft bound to place in your library as a treasured resource!

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Breath As A Tap Root

Imagine if you will a very large dance floor where everyone is moving freely in their own rhythm weaving in and out among other bodies in motion.  Sometimes making contact with others by mutual consent to play with movement, dance, touch, and energy – and at other times silently exploring a unique world of your own.

In the very center of this dance floor is a woman who often breaks out in gales of laughter.  People move in and out of her field sometimes connecting physically and other times merely sending her love, smiles or energy – in other words nourishment.  Every time that this woman laughs it sends reverberations throughout the room and smiles break out everywhere.

She is feeding the dance like a “tap root” from which other “roots” sprout laterally out in all directions.  This tap root forms the center upon which rides the well being and growth of all the other roots.  Without it the vitality of the organism as a whole would not continue and new growth might not be supported.

The breath is like a tap root with the lungs on the inside and the air from without giving and receiving within each inhale and exhale.  Our breath grounds us in the present moment and reminds us that we are here to thrive and passionately and compassionately live our lives to the best of our ability.

We share the nourishment with others in a deeply interconnected dance of life that has been choreographed expressly for us by a central force so strong that often we just begin to imagine and embody the power we are being given.  The tap root continually reminds us that a fully lived life is within a fully embodied creative breath.

If you have never even thought about moving freely from the tap root of your breath…you might give it a try.  A breathing space of ecstatic, free, unrestricted movement from the center of your being!



The Most Important Breathing Space Of All

On this day, in celebration of the role of motherhood bestowed upon many of us, I took a walk out into nature.  Reflecting on the richness of having given birth to 3 unique and amazing sons and having been given birth to by my own mother into this lifetime,  I walked softly down the country road listening to, feeling into,  and seeing the natural order of things all around me with immense appreciation and gratitude.

The sound of wind,  vast clouds with spaces of blue sky and sun peaking through, rivers flowing strongly from the abundance of rain, Spring flowers doting the grasslands, trees magnificent in their leafing out, bird song abounding, baby lambs all nestled together  – all of the elements collaborating to bring balance, wealth and meaning to our lives.

This is our breathing space – the space of the largest and most important mother we shall ever know.  Because of her we BREATHE.  Because of the intricate interconnection of all life here on this planet we exist at all.

Let today be a celebration of all that is “mother” to each and every one of us – human, all species, nature, and cosmos.  The mystery of it all would astound us even more if we knew exactly how everything dances together on our behalf.

We are indeed the ones we have been waiting for.  It is in our hands, minds, hearts and souls to protect and bring back into balance that which gives us life….the most important Breathing Space of all – Mother Earth.


Many Paths to Stillness of the Breath

“When the breath is irregular, the mind is also unsteady; but when the breath is still, so is the mind.” ~ Pradipika

I start with this quote as I am going to venture a bit away from it…well maybe way off from it.  But not really, because after practicing the primate Hu Breath I do believe that there will be so much opening in your body, that the return to stillness will be automatic -and deeper – and all irregularities will simply vanish!  There are many paths to reach a destination I say…

However, you may find yourself laughing with abandon before you finish this little practice.  Caryn McHose and Kevin Frank have written a delightful book called, How Life Moves, Explorations in Meaning and Body Awareness.  The book literally fell off my shelf today as I was sorting through books I want to keep in my move to Austin, and those that I will be gifting away.  Let’s just say that I will be keeping this one!

Directions follow which come straight from the book. This practice is the invention of Emilie Conrad, the founder of Continuum.

To do the Hu Breath, start by sitting comfortably on the floor, on a chair, or atop a physioball.  Breathe through your mouth.  On each exhale make a “ha” or “hee” or “hu” sound.  Breathe continuously in and out, moderately quickly, creating a visible pumping of the belly and letting the mouth experiment with different Simian expressions.  (that means monkey movements and sounds my friends!)  Allow the rhythm of the breath to pulse the body.  Play with the movement using an imagined sense of monkey and jungle persona to inspire the shapes of the movement.”

Personally I suggest that if you have a physioball, use it (bouncing is absolutely delicious!), as it creates another element to freeing your body and breath into movement freedom and instant laughter!  Breathing Spaces are only limited if you inhibit them….so I say go for it today and try on something completely different.  (even though I suspect that for some of you this will be just normal everyday behavior!)  Enjoy and let me know how you feel!!


Breath of Flight – Ride The Wave

“Life is in the breath.  One who half breathes, half lives.”  Chinese Proverb

As I write this 1,000’s of feet up in the air in a plane, taking a deep breath seems to take on a very different set of life skills.  Why is that?  Recycled air, crunched seating with one’s body confined to a very small area of moving room, cabin pressure, and oh those little tiny bathrooms that when toilets are flushed you wonder if you just might be sucked down and out into the wild blue yonder!

This post is dedicated to the deep diaphragmatic breath.  I call it the breath of flight, not only because I am writing this confined to that little tiny seat and breathing recycled air, but because I believe that this breath assists us to take flight in our lives.

Used in many different situations, this deep breath marks moments when we are reminded that we are indeed biological creatures that need air to function.  Often we find ourselves taking a deep breath because all of a sudden we realize that we have not been breathing at all…or I guess I should say very shallowly.  For periods of time when focused on something outside of our bodies – which is often by the way – we hold our breath.

How in the world can we remain more conscious to breathe fully with all of our primary breathing muscles instead of secondary ones?  Most people use secondary breath muscles which are the muscles of the front of the neck, pectoralis muscles in the chest, sternocleidomastoid, and the upper trapezius.

What are not used as often are the primary muscles of breathing which include the diaphragm, intercostal (between the ribs) and the abdominal muscles that are meant to give us that full-bodied breathing experience that our bodies innately crave.

Awareness is the key here.  What if we took Breath Awareness Breaks (BAB’s for short) instead of coffee breaks?  Might we feel more enlivened, relaxed, peaceful, focused and creative?   The daily practice of rhythmic (wave-like) diaphragmatic breathing with gradual and equal prolongation of the inhalation and exhalation will enhance the body’s ability to experience a sense of deep relaxation and rest, free of stress and strain, and with a marked feeling of calm and peace.

Diaphragmatic Wave Breath Practice:

*Sit upright in a chair with both feet on the floor or ground, or lay down with something under your knees and head if necessary.  (No the latter position will not work in the airplane!)

*Place your hands on your legs palm side down, if you are seated.  If lying down rest your hands on your belly to encourage the inhale to expand there first.

*Take 3 deep breaths with mouth slightly open and relax – feeling the stress exit your body and the toxic mental chatter drain away. Let your body relax/soften into the chair, or the surface you are lying on.

*Inhale completely through your nostrils with your mouth closed allowing the lower abdomen/stomach area to push out/rise up as the air moves in.  (contraction of diaphragm – it moves down.)

*Exhale completely through the nostrils releasing all of the air out and drawing the naval (belly button) down towards your spine and up under the ribs. (relaxing of diaphragm – it relaxes back up.) The wave of breath unfolds itself to the shore of the next pause.

*Do this practice in a series of 7 breaths.  Rest for 2 minutes while being aware of your breathing and how you feel in your body, mind and emotions.  Repeat the process two more times.

This breath massages all of the internal organs, encourages the movement and flow of the lymphatic and vascular systems,  – and of course exercises the respiratory system which requires moment to moment workouts to keep it healthy and strong.

This is especially important when we are sitting for long periods of time or inactive physically.  Next time that you fly, whether in an airplane or on your next stepping off of the proverbial cliff for a life change flight, put your attention on the wave breath and see what happens.

To become a welcome vessel for the breath is to live life without trying to control, grasp, or push away.”  Donna Farhi, The Breathing Book


Breathing 101:  We are all breathing in some fashion, even when we are not aware of our breath, but the normal patterns of breathing are usually shallow, restricted, and contain many holding patterns.  These reflect deep imbalances in our systems.  When our breathing patterns are weak, we may have low energy and find ourselves easily fatigued and more emotionally stressed.  When our breathing patterns are deep and strong, we have increased endurance, stamina, and a sense of well-being.

For further information about this 2 hour workshop, please go to the tab above and consider contacting Gaye Abbott, RYT for an experience that will unlock your potential to thrive in life through breath awareness.