I’d like to share with you a simple breathing exercise that I find is useful to many people; I call it “Cool In-Warm Out”. Here are the instructions:
First, notice how the air feels cool in your nostrils as you breathe in, and warm as you breathe out, with the air, of course, being warmed by your body.
As you breathe in, say to yourself, “Cool in”, and, as you breathe out, say to yourself, “Warm out.” Breathe in and out through your nose, if you can, or, if it’s more comfortable, you can breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Either close your eyes, or fix your gaze in one point. Breathe in a natural way, and focus your attention on the feelings of coolness and warmth at the center of your body. No matter how many times your attention wanders, just bring it back to the feelings of coolness and warmth.
I like this exercise because it completely mirrors the natural process of breathing, giving your mind something to say, and a gentle focus on the sensations. I recommend this breath for use when going to sleep, going back to sleep upon awakening, and all throughout the day, especially when you notice mental or physical stress or impatience.
Elizabeth Bond has been practicing yoga for 15 years, and has been teaching yoga for 4 years, certified in Prana Yoga. Her interest in yoga has evolved from a life-long interest in dance and fitness, and was particularly inspired by her 30+ years of work as a Clinical Psychologist, with an increasing interest in mind-body interventions and energy psychology. She is especially interested in the beneficial effects of yoga on mood regulation and its contribution in the treatment of anxiety and depression. Her continued training has included a certification in LifeForce Yoga for Mood Management, taught by Amy Weintraub at Kripalu.
Yoga Plus Herbs, Marlboro Plaza, Intersection of Rte 9 and Rte 520 in Marlboro, NJ 07726, 732-617-2020, http://www.yogaplusherbs.com/, info at yogaplusherbs dot com