“A mind too active is no mind at all.” – Theodore Rothke

COMPLETE BREATH

The breath, it is said, is the pulse of the mind. When you are tense, your breathing becomes shallow or you may hold your breath, which increases tension; conversely, deep breathing decreases tension. Shallow breathing can also make you feel tired and sluggish. When that “3 o’clock slump” hits, forget the caffeine…breathe deeply instead!

  • This breath can be done in any comfortable seated position (spine straight, shoulders down and away from the ears) or lying down. (Place a blanket or bolster under your knees if you feel any strain in the low back, and a small pillow under your neck.)
  • Relax; close your eyes.
  • Exhale completely.
  • Inhale slowly and deeply through the nose. Allow your stomach to expand like a balloon. Sip in the breath, filling the chest and lungs.
  • Hold the breath; exhale slowly through the nose, squeezing out all the stale air.
  • If you wish, add the element of counting: inhale for a count of 5, hold the breath for 5, exhale for a count of 10. (If this count doesn’t work for you, change the pace to your liking.)
  • Repeat 5 times.

As you breathe, affirm silently:

I drink deeply from the well of Life.

Benefits:

  • Relaxes the body and nervous system
  • Purifies the respiratory system by expelling stale air
  • Increases energy levels
  • Relieves tension and calms the emotions
  • Improves concentration
  • Great for the complexion

~ from The Yoga Deck by Olivia H. Miller