Living Yoga

5 Minute Pranayama

POSTED: NOVEMBER 8, 2021

Pretty soon, we are all going to get caught up in the whirlwind of the winter holiday season.

During this time of year — when it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything we need to get done — it is crucial to make time for your yoga practice.  Taking an hour to release the tension in your body, as well as clear your mind of all the distractions, will have a big impact on the rest of your day.

If you simply don’t have an hour to spare, how about a 15 minute break?  That’s enough time for some pranayama and meditation.  Remember, that’s yoga too — and in many ways even more powerful and beneficial than asana.

BELLY BREATHING

Here’s a simple breathing exercise that is sure to calm your nerves and leave you feeling energized.  It’s called Belly Breathing, and you can do it while seated or lying down on your back.

  1. Place one hand on your chest, the other on the stomach, below the ribs.
  2. Take a deep inhale through the nostrils.  Send the breath into the belly, feeling the front of your stomach expanding under the palm.  Keep the chest still.
  3. When you exhale, breathe out through the mouth, with your lips pursed. Let the weight of your hand help push all the air out of your stomach.
  4. Repeat 3 – 10 more times, taking your time with each cycle. Don’t rush.

PRANAYAMA BENEFITS

When we’re stressed and under pressure, our breathing becomes rapid and shallow.  And we don’t even notice it happening. 

But when we breathe consciously, mindfully and deeply, we are giving our minds and our bodies permission to relax and let go.  The heart rate lowers and blood pressure also goes down.