Holiday Training Tips: Breathing Through the Holidays

by Angela Clark

“The body lives in the past, the mind in the future – the breath is how we bridge the two to the present moment.”  – BKS Iyengar

Our breath, something most of us easily take for granted. Until something happens, like we get sick or startled or stressed, we never really have to think about actually having to breathe to get through our day.

As the holidays can breed stress and excitement it’s good to have a small arsenal of practices that can help you cope with the season.

One of the best ways to calm your mind and create some space is to have a nice slow exhalation.  Try this breathing practice for five minutes and see if it helps.

Before you being, make sure your phone is on silent and the vibrate option off. Turn off the doorbell too, if you can.

Holiday Training Tips: Breathing Through the Holidays– Lay down with your body on an incline.  To achieve this take two or three blankets, fold them thinly to support your spine and set them up like steps with the lowest step closest to the body.  This will help support the opening of the lungs and relax your central nervous system.

*Allow the hips to stay on the floor so the blankets are for the spine and head only.

– Take a deep breath in and a deep breath out.

– Inhale for a slow count of 1…2…3…4…

– Pause for 1 count

– Exhale for 4…3…2…1

– Repeat one more time.

– Take a deep breath in and a deep breath out.

– Inhale for a slow count of 1…2…3…4…

– Pause for 1 count

– Exhale for 5…4…3…2…1…

– Repeat one more time.

– Take a deep breath in and a deep breath out.

– Inhale for a slow count of 1…2…3…4…

– Pause for 1 count

– Exhale for 6…5…4…3…2…1…

– Repeat one more time.

– Take a deep breath in and a deep breath out.

If you find that the 6 count exhale is challenging then stay with that count for another four rounds.  If you’ve feel relaxed and comfortable then work the exhale count up to eight, so that it is double the length of the inhalation.

When you have completed the pranayama practice, allow yourself to just be in space of stillness before you make the conscious choice to get up and move.

**If you are at work and can’t lay down you can still do this practice sitting up nice and tall at your desk!

Advertisements

About The Mala Yoga Blog

We are a Brooklyn-based studio that focuses on alignment, balance and community. Have a read, try one of our Practice Podcasts, or come in and say "hi" in person!
This entry was posted in MORE WITH: ANGELA and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s