A Pranayama exercise I love

I know, I have not blogged here in a while. You could say that I was busy with graduating from my MBA, finishing my capstone project, recovering from all this, moving out, moving in… and now, starting to look for an impactful job.

But well, I am back to writing on this blog too. And I am back not with a review of a book or a movie but with something that actually might help you. Have you heard of pranayama ? The breathing part of Yoga ?

Years ago, I was living in France and working in Belgium. Life happened and I was in pain. I was stressed out. A friend told me to try Yoga with a friend of hers. I was skeptical, like many a Westerner when they are told to try what could be seen as Eastern mumbo jumbo.

But no, my sessions were interesting, I learned about my body and my mind alike. And the last part was just life changing. This exercise is based on my then teacher’s practice. You can do it in 15 to 25 minutes. Here it goes

Step 0, Go to a quiet space, somewhere where you could be on your own with not too much noise or any at all. Then, find yourself a good position, whether lying on your bed or sitting crossed legged on a cushion or your sofa. Turn off your phone ( I know, who would do that these days, in the age of hyperconnectivity ? ), Voila. The exercise can start-up.

Step 1: Close your eyes and observe your breath. Let it go, listen to your body. Just doing that can already help a lot. If you cant do it the first time, try another day.

Step 2: inhale with your nose to the top of your lungs. Stop. Exhale through your nose normally. Stop. Repeat this for 3 to 5 minutes.

Step 3 : Now inhale through your nose normally. Stop. Now exhale through your nose to its max. stop again. Repeat for 3 to 5 minutes as well.

Step 4 : Inhale and exhale to your top of your capacity. Keep on observing a pause between each for just a couple of seconds. 3 to 5 more minutes.

Step 5 : Come back to regular, normal breathing. Open your eyes, stretch your legs and arms. You just completed some meditation.

I am no Yogi, I am not an expert or even a regular practioner of this exercise but I know that this practice has helped me in my hardest moments for the past six years. I hope it will help you too. Do not hesitate to leave a comment or a question 🙂

Sidenote: you can do that with a noise background. My earlier practice was done while listening to the first part of Radiohead’s OK Computer. Nowadays I happen to have a free white noise app that gives me a waterfront ambiance, with seagulls and wind. Many of these exist, whether you have an iPhone, a regular computer, an Android phone and even, yes, a Windows phone 🙂

If you happen to know the name of this exercise, please leave a comment 🙂 For further reference for both you and me, there is THIS from Yoga Journal..

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