I’ve been thinking about how to slow the pace down a bit for the rest of this year. It’s all been a little bit crazy so far and here we are in June already. I’ve come to the conclusion that in order to achieve both contentment and productivity, to be both balanced and mindful, I need a mechanism to bring these things back to my core.
With this aim in mind I have finally been doing something that all of you who have practiced yoga have known about for years but that I have come to rather late. I’ve discovered the power of using your breath to invigorate, to create power, to regain control and imbue a powerful sense of calm and wellbeing.
We breath in and out all the time I hear you say but most of us shallow breathe, paying no attention to the process and giving no thought to it at all. Of course we do, we are busy doing a million other things to spend all day on our breathing. However if we stop for just two minutes and focus on our breath the benefits can be huge. Our thoughts can be calmed as we focus on the breath itself, our extremities and muscles can be fuelled with regenerative oxygen. You can make your breath your ally because when you give it the time it deserves with it will come the ultimate in peace of mind within and productivity without.
BREATH OF FIRE
Sit down on a mat with your legs folded under you. Put your hands on your knees and close your eyes. Lock your hands together, with your forefingers joined and pointing out as if you have a gun in your hand. Stretch your hands up above your head so that your arms are tight against your ears and your hands are pointing at the ceiling and you are pulled up. Then start with your breath.
Through your nose
Inhale: belly gently OUT (but in breath of fire don’t think too much about inhale, just do it naturally, for some it is hard to bring it out as your diaphragm maybe too tight due to stress).
Exhale: PULL THE NAVEL IN (belly in) – towards the spine
Keep saying as a mantra as you breathe your life: exhale, exhale, exhale at speed. Feel the belly being pulled in towards the spine as you say it.
And so the magic breath of fire not only creates oxygen and awareness, but it gives you an internal massage by “squeezing” the internal area thus massaging them.
This movement will not only invigorate you internally, it will give strength, fire up your hypothalamus, give you concentration and strength and will help you prepare for a difficult task. This is also a form of meditation. While breathing like this it is difficult to think of anything else so you will naturally feel at the end of 2 minutes that you have given your brain a rest. Thus resetting it. If you get better and are able, try to extend it to 3 minutes and then 4 minutes.