Pranayama is the branch of our yoga practice that deals with controlling our breath. The purpose is to help regulate the flow of prana, or life force, throughout our body.
Sometimes we want to bring in more energy — like when we feel tired or run down, or need the healing properties of prana to help nurse an injury. Other times, having less energy is beneficial. For example, when we’re stressed out, and there is too much energy for our bodies to handle.
If you find yourself feeling anxious, nervous or tense on a regular basis, there is a very simple and easy pranayama technique you can try that will help safely release that excess energy. It’s called Calming Breathing, and it doesn’t require complicated hand mudras or forcing the breath through different nostrils.
To practice this pranayama, simply close your eyes and then count to 6 as you breathe in through both nostrils. Then hold your breath and count to 3. When you exhale, count to 6 and release the breath through both nostrils again. Start the process over with your next inhale.
Sri Dharma Mittra says after doing Calming Breathing for 20 minutes, you will be ready to face a firing squad. Let’s hope it never comes to that — but you get the idea!
This pranayama slows the heart rate, calms the mind, and reduces cravings and desires. Try it today for 5 – 10 minutes and let me know what you think!