When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace.
Of all the limbs of yoga, number four: pranayama (conscious breathing) is a deeply powerful one and offers the potential to calm our being. Master this limb and the rest of life can fall into place. Breathe correctly and in turn feel better about things.
Slow the breathing down. Everyone is different so do what is best for you. Try to inhale for the count of four, hold my for the count of four and exhale for the count of four. Build up the time and hold gradually. Never hold the breath to the point of discomfort.
Basic Breathing exercise
Breathing is the key to happiness and conscious breathing is one of the best things to do for a pick-me-up..
Method: Come to sitting in the centre of your mat. Use a cushion if you find this difficult. Close the eyes and place one hand on your heart and one hand just below the navel. Allow your shoulders to let go as your sit bones support the upward movement of your spine. Begin to breathe in and out through your nostrils. Try to focus solely on your breathing. As the mind starts to wander just bring it back to the breath. The more you can sit here and just be; the more likely you are over time to conquer the limitations of the mind.
Pranayama (Breathing Exercises)
Humming Bee Breath (Bhramari)
Feeling stressed and anxious? Try this to calm and centre your nervous system and let go of anger after a hectic day. Bhramari is a type of Indian bee. When doing this breathing exercise, you will be making a sound like a bee.
Method: Sit up nice and tall on the floor ( or chair if your body can’t do that).
Close your eyes and inhale and then exhale making the sound of the bee by sounding a continuous M noise. Try it for 3 to 5 minutes. Then sit quietly. It can become very meditative as it blasts the chatter out your head bringing you more into the present moment.
Alternative nostril breathing
Alternative nostril breathing is one of the best things you can do to soothe your mind as it brings a sense of calmness. It is so clever that it will also give you energy if you need it. The left nostril is calming and the right one is energising. Basically, we naturally breathe through one nostril then the other during the course of the day. Alternative nostril breathing pranayama allows us to balance both sides of the brain.
If you have time to do nothing at all then do five minutes of this for at least 40 days and see what an amazing effect it has. This really is one of the best things to help you sleep at night, but it is also great to help you wake up and prepare for the day.
So having read this article, go back and see limb one, limb two and limb three and think how breathing correctly can enrich the other limbs of yoga.
Let me know what you discover.
Jane Bowyer (The Word Sprite)