Two Simple Breath Techniques to De-stress
Breath Awareness in the Belly – Anchoring awareness in bodily sensation and feeling into it’s associated or habitual emotions is the key to dissolving stress and attachment.
Make a fist with your right hand and gently press into the upper abdomen just below the ribs – place the palm of your left hand over your fist and with a little pressure gently push your fist into the belly. With long deep breathing drop your awareness into the belly. This simple technique can be done for just a couple of minutes to bring you back to centre and take you from chaos to calm.
Breath Awareness in the Nostrils – Tuning into the subtlest of sensation in the nostril. If we are very sensitive, it could potentially feel overwhelming to breathe deep into the belly; so we could simply focus on the sensation of the breath at the aperture of the nostril. Rather than having to even use a mudra, you can practice psychic nostril breathing. Close your eyes, sit comfortably and take a couple of normal breaths – then allow your awareness to simply rest in the left nostril as you inhale – see if you can focus on the sensation of cool breath coming into the left nostril; then, shift your awareness to the sensation of warm air gently rushing through the right nostril. Don’t worry about the length of breath or holding the breath and simply feel the cool air at the aperture of the right nostril and then shifting awareness again to the left nostril for the exhalation. This is one of my favourite pranayama techniques – feeling into the sensations that we call the inhslation and exhalation. If your mind judges the length of the breath or retention, just tune into sensation – and if the mind wanders, come back to the subtle sensation of the breath in the nostril. So simple.