Feeling stressed, angry, anxious or tired? One of the easiest ways to rein your crazy mind in is to focus on your breathing. There’s no need to suck down a beer to calm yourself down. You’ve got your magic lungs right there with you all the time. Actually, I often think that one of the reasons people have a difficult time quitting smoking is that they lose the only time in their day when they focus on their breathing, and maybe that’s a big part of why people melt down - they lose their meditation time! I’m definitely not saying people should smoke, but maybe we can take a positive aspect from the act of smoking - that it’s good to take time to sit and breathe - and just do it without the cigarette.
Breathing practice is one of the most effective practices that yoga has to offer, and anyone can try it. Sometimes we see pictures of people in yoga poses and think, “Shoot, I can’t do that,” but breathing is accessible for more people. The way you breathe can change your state in a matter of seconds.
Try this breathing exercise:
Inhale deeply through the nose for a count of 4
Exhale completely through the nose for a count of 4
Repeat 5 times
Then, inhale deeply through the nose for a count of 6
Exhale completely through the nose for a count of 6
Repeat 5 times
As you develop more breath capacity, you can try lengthening the count a little more. Go slowly. Your inhale is your desire for life; your exhale is your surrender to it. Balancing the two will help your mind and your heart.
Who needs a beer or a cigarette? Surely not he who breathes. Namaste.