Living in our heads

by M. M. on August 10, 2012

Feeling distracted?

Anxious?

Maybe a little irritable?

Most of us are living this way.

In yogic terms, this is considered an imbalance of “Vata,” the element of air. Most of our culture is, in fact, caught up in this imbalance, which is a tendency to live up in our heads rather than our bodies.  We need to bring all this scattered energy back into our bodies where we can feel centered and empowered again.

Breath awareness is the key to body connection.

Start practicing  a few rounds of diaphragmatic breaths–or belly inhales–to relax and release back into the rest of you.

Then when you’re ready for a little more, try the balancing breath that calms even the athletes before competing, “Nadhi Shodhana,” which looks like this:

  • using your right hand throughout the practice–
  • place your right hand thumb over the right nostril while breathing in through your left
  • gently pinch both nostrils closed for a few seconds
  • then let go of the right nostril while holding the left nostril closed
  • inhale through the right nostril, and then close both nostrils for a few seconds
  • finish by exhaling out the left nostril, while keeping the right nostril closed

You can do this as many rounds as you’d like–although 5 cycles feels just about right.

Try it before a stressful conversation,  before sleep, or taking a break from too much computer time.

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