(NaturalNews) I had the pleasure recently of speaking with yoga teacher Amy Weintraub, well-known author of Yoga for Depression. Amy will be joining us soon on Mental Health Exposed. As I was reviewing some of her material, I decided to try a short breathing exercise that she teaches in her book. Within 30 seconds, I was more relaxed than I had been in a week.
According to Amy, "Trauma, loss and the everyday hassles of daily life can create constriction in the physical and emotional body. As we constrict, we begin to close off from others. Some of us carry this sense of separation throughout our lives in the form of depression. Yogic breathing can begin to break through that wall of separation, perhaps just a chink at first, through which we begin to feel less separate and alone. A simple breath can give us a felt sense of our connection to the energy of the cosmos."
Try this simple yogic breathing exercise called pranayama
This breath, jokingly referred to as Darth Vader Breath, is soothing to the central nervous system, even as it calms the mind and supports greater focus for meditation.
1. To begin, inhale through the nostrils to the count of four with a slight constriction at the back of the throat, so that the breath is audible, like a light snoring sound.
2. Exhale through the nostrils for four counts, maintaining the snoring sound.
3. The breath is slow, and deep. Feel the breath expanding the belly, the ribcage, and then the upper chest.
4. On the exhalation, pull the abdomen in and up to empty the lungs completely.
5. Sense the breath at the back of the throat.
6. Listen to your breath. Does it sound like a wave gently rolling across pebbles? Imagine your favorite pebbly beach. Does it sound like an infant's snore? Let it be like a lullaby to yourself - perhaps a younger you.
"I know of no better way to sense our interconnectedness than to begin a breathing practice," said Amy.
Are you willing to take a few minutes every day to invest in your physical and emotional well-being? Are you ready to find out how these simple tools can increase your mood and improve your outlook? Try it!
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