This is an offering that I hope you enjoy.
My intention behind this is to provide a useful tool to counter some of the more fragmented ‘us vs them’ mentality that is is so pervasive today and in all generations.
These techniques are something I have been doing a lot at the end of my yoga asana practice, for about the same duration as this recording. They are a total savior to me, so I hope they work for you.
About this breath: Even if this seems esoteric to you, just enjoy. It is good for you. Let your breath guide you and not the mind. Go inwards.
Technique: In this audio recording we do three rounds of Alternate Nostril Breathing
One cycle involves a simple 6 count inhalation through the left nostril, holding for 6 counts, then using the right hand to plug left nostril and exhale through right nostril.
To finish one cycle repeat the same steps backwards; breathe for six through the right side, hold and exhale for six on the left side.
The fingers used are the pinky, and ring finger (4th and 5th) to hold the nostril you are are not breathing through. The thumb can help to open up the nostril that you are breathing in with. Use a soft touch full of kindness and calm.
Tips: It is important to keep the spine from dropping, otherwise our energy and focus becomes dull.
It is also important not to create tension in the face or jaw.
Stop if you feel anxiety or short of breath.
Yogis believe that this balances the ida and pingala channels in the body and allows energy to flow through the central channel of the body, the sushumna. This is where Kundalini is thought to flow.
One last thing, traditionally the Right hand only is used in India. You are welcome to do it that way. I learned to use both hands in this technique from my teachers and it feels better to me. It’s your choice though.
Three level breathing:
About this breath: I love this technique. I find that I can really open up places that can feel tight, constricted and overlooked in our day to day consciousness. Remember each tight place is telling us something about our history. Let these places in the body unwind. Direct the breath to them.
The exhalation is a great physical and emotional release. The in breath is like a yawn – it wakes the body and mind up and oxygenates the body.
We do two delicious rounds in this recording
Technique: Sit comfortably, generating a subtle lift in the spine.
Inhale for a three count to the lower ribs, pause and hold for three. Savour.
Exhale and completely as you can. Take one normal breath and repeat.
Tips: Make sure the front and back body both move to expand the ribs
Feel the healing qualities of the breath in the body.
Keep the ears balanced over the shoulders.
Feel light and focused. Enjoy
Last technique is two minutes of quiet sitting. Normal breath. Nothing is forced. Don’t feel you have to stop thinking. That's too much much for most of us mortals. Just notice how present you are in your body. Clear and focused. Relaxed and alert.
Optional Guyan Mudra (index finger and thumb touching)
If you find yourself able to sit for longer, please do.
Let your body-mind feel peaceful.
Experience life from a level less on the gross level and more on the level of vibrations.