Aaaah, pranaaaaaaahyama. After a solid week of the bone-crushing flu, I have rediscovered you. How you lighten my lungs, how you calm the threads of my consciousness. You give me the strength and stability to meet the challenges of each day. You beat down the anxiety that threatens my peace of mind. You are medicine for my soul.
Here’s a simple Pranayama practice to help you discover your new love:

1. Take a comfortable seat with spine long and knees level to or lower than your pelvis.
2. Begin to progressively lengthen your breath with a slight constriction at the throat.
3. Try to extend your breath to a count of 5 on inhale and 5 on exhale, sustain this for a minimum of 12 rounds. Adjust the speed of your count so that you are not out of breath but you are pushing your breath threshold.
4. Add a pause after exhale of up to 5 counts so that you inhale 5, exhale 5, hold after exhale 5. Sustain a minimum of 12 breaths. Again, adjust the count so that the ratio is 1:0:1:1 and you are pushing your threshold without feeling out of breath.
5. Release the technique and notice how you feel.
6. Repeat daily for at least a week and observe, enjoy, and fall in love!

Want some more information about pranayama and how to integrate into your daily routine? Jenny Hayo is offering her Pranayama Intensive April 10 & 11 at 8 Limbs Capitol Hill.

Posted by: Anne Phyfe

Neighborhood Studios