Day 340 Intention ~ Take a breath...or several
Long, slow breaths are so healthy for us. They help the heart rate go down, can lower blood pressure and calm the nervous system. This can allow us to sleep better and yes, calm the mind.
Today I will be teaching people how to breathe. I still get a little nervous (good nervous) going into situations with people I've never met, and leading a group. I think that is normal, and believe me, in middle & high school, even most of college, the idea of talking in front of the group would give me heart palpitations that could be heard in China. So, I feel like I have grown in that respect. Ironically, practicing the same thing I am going to teach these folks today will allow me to be calm when teaching them!
Lots of it is yoga, lots of it is learning how to breathe.
Let's go over just a simple breath that you can take with you if you are ever feeling stressed whether at work, driving, at home or if you can sleep.
Ujjayi breath, which means victorious breath, starts by sitting or standing up, nice and tall. (If you can't sleep, you can still do this laying down, but be sure you are laying on your back.) Lift the pelvic floor and let the shoulders draw back and down, the chest will lift. The head and neck are in line with the spine with the top of the head drawing up toward the sky.
Start to breathe in and out through your nose. Find a constriction in the back of the throat in the glottis. With the mouth closed, start to pull the air from the throat although you are still breathing in and out from the nose. The breath will become audible. Some compare it to the ocean, some compare it to Darth Vader, but just know, you will be able to hear it. It does take practice though. Feel your body open and expand with the breath in and contract with the breath out. Practice 10- 40 rounds of this breath. You can even count the breath in and out, trying to find the same count or trying to find a longer count for the exhale.