“With every inhalation you literally bring new life into your body, with every exhalation you clean house.”
Baron Baptiste, Journey into Power
Our breath is automatic, subconscious, self-regulating. But in yoga and similar pursuits you learn to harness the breath, to use it as a tool to calm or energize, to guide the body and mind.
I’ve been using one particular breath practice or pranayama lately called Nodi Shodhan, “alternate nostril breathing.” It sounds silly, or simple, but I have found it to be incredibly powerful in moments when you really need to take the time to turn inward, get grounded, pause, and reset. It shifts my whole rhythm, leaving me calmer and more focused.
Want to try? It’s easy to master the basics, and you can come back to it any time you need a gentle reset, a moment to come back to yourself.
Sit comfortably in any position. Take a deep breath in and out.
Lift your right hand in front of your face, then rest your pointer and middle fingers lightly on the bridge of your nose or between your brows. Close your eyes.
Exhale. Use your thumb to close your right nostril, then inhale deeply through your left nostril.
Pause. Use your your ring and pinky fingers to close your left nostril, simultaneously releasing your thumb from your right nostril and exhale through your right nostril.
Pause. Inhale through your right nostril, use your thumb to close your right nostril, then exhale through your left nostril.
Pause. Inhale through your left nostril, use your pinky and ring fingers to close your left nostril, then exhale through your right nostril.
Repeat for a few minutes, or as little or as much time as you have to dedicate to this practice.
Remember that you can use your breath. “Your breath is what links your mind to your body, and you to the present moment.” -Baron Baptiste
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