Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Breathing Project 3: Smooth Out the Kinks
By now, you are taking luxuriously deep breaths often, right? Step 1 of the Breathing Project focused on Awareness, and Step 2 on Raising Your Energy. In Step 3, we'll focus on using the breath to Smooth Out the Kinks. In Step 4, to come, we will send our breath, intentions, and energy into the world.
Smoothing Out the Kinks like Gentle Waves
Think of a gentle wave washing over you, and that is how we will think about this soothing breathing pattern. You might wish to close your eyes for this breath (after reading, of course!). Breathe in through your nose imagining the breath coming up all the way from your toes to the top of your head. Then when exhaling through your nose, feel a gentle wave of water wash down through and over your body all the way past your face, your shoulders, chest, arms, belly, legs, all the way back down to your toes. As if you are being coated in warm water or light or a breeze, trickling down your inner body. (Visualize cool water or refreshing breeze if it's hot out and that seems more soothing). Imagine releasing all of the stress or tension your body has been holding onto. Feel your face, jaw, shoulders, all of your body relaxing as you wash the breath over you. Breathe in and out this way as long as you'd like.
Try this breathing pattern using "ujjayi" breathing. Ujjayi is Sanskrit for "victory breath" and is a standard yoga pranayama breath. You close your inner throat muscles half way, a half snore, so that your breath is audible. Your breath takes on an ocean-like sound. This builds heat in the body, raising your energy level and at the same time creating balance. Give your inhalation and exhalation the same volume level with ujjayi breathing.
After several breaths using the ujjayi breathing, go back to your normal breathing and see how you have smoothed out the kinks. You can open your eyes and go back to your day feeling refreshed and energized, having visited the shore of your deep and true inner sanctuary.
As always, stay in touch and tell me how you feel after Smoothing Out Your Kinks!
"Stop by" the Peace and Health Cafe for a cool herbal tea and chat: