Jane O’Rourke – Embodying Courage and Strength Breathing Exercise

Hello my name is Jane O’Rourke, I am a child, adolescent and family psychotherapist and a yoga and mindfulness teacher and today we are going to do a simple technique to help to embody the qualities of strength and courage.

So start by finding a sitting posture that feels comfortable for you, so it might be sitting on a chair, or you might find sitting on a cushion comfortable. The idea is that we start to embody the qualities of strength and courage. So first of all start by finding your sit bones, so you might need to take some of the flesh of the buttocks away a little bit, in order to find the bony bits to make contact with whatever you are sitting on. You might find that by finding that contact, it will start to help you give a really steady foundation to your posture.

So find your sitting bones on your cushion or on your chair and then start to rise out of that posture. So, you might find a little tilting forwards of the pelvis and so then your heart and chest can rise, and your shoulders can slide down the back and your neck is nice and long. So you’ve got a strong back and a soft open heart.

And then allow the eyes to close or just keeping them open a little, whatever feels most comfortable and start to do our internal weather check. So just noticing how you are feeling at this moment. So not pushing anything away, just allowing anything to arise, any feelings that you might be feeling, and just noticing these feelings perhaps as you would clouds passing by on a windy day, just coming and going.

And then start to give some attention to the breath and all the while allowing our spine to feel nice and strong, your neck nice and long.

And noting the breath now, and it might help you to focus the breath at the tip of the nose or perhaps in the chest or in the belly, so having a focus point. Noticing the rise of each breath and the fall of each breath, the texture of the breath at the tip of the nose, perhaps the warming of the breath on the out breath as it leaves the body.

And by embodying this strong posture and cultivating the qualities of strength and courage in your posture, it allows that feeling to become part of who you are in this moment. It’s not pushing anything away in terms of any difficulties or anxieties or worries, but allowing them to sit alongside the strength of the posture and the steadiness of the breath.

And every time your mind gets diverted as minds do, just gently bringing back the focus to the breath at the tip of your nose. Your spine rising tall, the chest is open and soft.

And you can stay here longer if you like or when you are ready very slowly coming back into the room in your own time and knowing this is a resource that you can come back to at any moment, sitting tall in your chair or on your cushion or in your seat when you want to embody the qualities of strength and courage.


Jane O’Rourke guides us through a simple technique to help to embody the qualities of strength and courage. Jane is a Yoga and Meditation Teacher, and a Psychodynamic Psychotherapist with Children, Young People and Families. She teaches Yoga4Trauma within the Trauma Service at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.

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