Breathing for Stress Relief
Ujjayi breath, breathing in and out through your nose, is a calming breath used during yoga practice. To relieve the stress associated with this holiday season and in general, practice the following technique:
1) Come to a comfortable seated position sitting up straight with a long spine.
2) Place your hands on your lap.
3) Close your eyes.
4) Breathe in through your nose for three seconds and exhale through your nose for three seconds keeping you mouth closed the whole time.
5) Start off with a short duration, say about three minutes, and eventually work your way up to 15 minutes per session. Progress at your pace and grant yourself grace to take the time for this exercise.
6) Your mind will wander as thoughts turn-up regarding issues that are foremost on your mind. Just acknowledge these thoughts and then let them go, returning your focus to your breath.
Anytime you feel stress or panic creeping in while stuck in traffic or waiting in line, just take one or two Ujjayi breaths with your eyes open and let the stress melt away. When you get to an appropriate location, engage in the steps above.
Research shows sitting quietly and breathing reduces your heart rate, lowers your blood pressure, calms your mind and body, and reduces stress. Enjoy moments of peace and celebrate this joyous holiday season.