Find a wall or flat surface to provide back support during this advanced pranayama technique.
Close your eyes and your mouth. Slowly and gently inhale and exhale through your nose. The breath should be deep but not forced and should fill your abdomen up through your chest to the top of your collar bone, before retreating during the exhale. Slowly repeat this a few times.
As you inhale, focus your attention and imagine there is a tiny tube or cord that originates at your perineum and stretches up through your spine to the stem of your brain and terminates at the center of your head. Once your attention reaches your head, imagine a tiny nerve turns forward to reach the point between your eyebrows.
With each slow inhale, imagine energy funneling up from your perineum up to the point between your eyebrows and then back down again to your perineum. Repeat this with each breath.
This exercise should be done for a few minutes before meditation. Remain seated when you are finished with the exercise and begin meditation immediately.
- This exercise calms the nervous system which can lead to a deeper meditative state.
- It also increases the prana (energy) flowing through your body, which will increase your overall energy level.
Emotions and Breathing
Breathing and emotions are intrinsically linked. When we become scared, we gasp or hold our breath. When we are tired or bored, our breath is long and drawn out. Anger or depression makes our breathing irregular and choppy, while nervousness and anxiety makes the breath shallow.
Once you become aware of your breath, you can learn how to reduce the effects of your emotions and gain more control over your reactions. If you breathe more evenly and deeply, it becomes very difficult to feel any kind of anxiety. If your breathing is jerky or uneven, it is only natural to feel uneasy.
The next time you find yourself feeling upset or uneasy, bring your attention to your breath and begin deepening and slowing your breath. See how your mood will follow.