Here’s something for you to try out next time you take a bath. I am generally a shower kind of guy, but the other day I opted for a bath. Our family tub is, compared to others we’ve had in earlier houses, quite small. When I got in, the water level was right up to the level of the overflow drain.
Of course, we all remember the story of Archimedes, and his Eureka moment when he was in the bath—about the displacement of water. Bigger things displace more water, smaller things displace less. Less dense materials displace more, more dense things, like the gold that Archimedes was concerned with.
Here’s the experiment that I came up with that I’m suggesting that you try:
- get as much of yourself into the water as possible
- see if you can raise the water level in the tub because you are displacing more water! Watch the level right by the overflow drain and see if you can move it up a millimeter or so
- try different places of breathing (abdominals, ribs, collarbones, back, and various combinations of those) to see which breath displaces the most air
- see if you can lower the water level in the tub because you are displacing much less water!
- you can try pulsing out little breaths to “wring out” the last little bits
- compare slow, long breaths with fast, quick breaths
- compare nose breaths to mouth breaths
You can have a lovely, long, luxurious soak while doing this, enjoy the warmth, and observe what you can about the volume of air (which is what is displacing the water in the first place) that you can move.
For me, the best part of it is the sensation of the water on my skin. This really helps to raise your awareness of the breathing process. Being able to be present to the breath moving within you, to feel your volume rising and dropping
Note that if your tub is very big, you won’t see much movement at all. I suppose you could get another person in there with you, but then you probably would be a bit distracted from watching your breath…