Five More Pranayama (Breathing) Exercises!

Breathe Deeply
Quotes
  • “Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.” ~ L. Frank Baum
  • “Smile, breathe and go slowly.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
  • “That breath you just took… that’s a gift.” ~ Rob Bell
  • “Inhale, and God approaches you. Hold the inhalation, and God remains with you. Exhale, and you approach God. Hold the exhalation, and surrender to God.” ~ Krishnamacharya
  • “When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still, and the yogi achieves long life. Therefore, one should learn to control the breath.” ~ Hatha Yoga Pradipika
Five More Pranayama/Breathing Exercises!
To my great delight, y’all loved¬†last week’s newsletter, where I introduced my five favorite pranayama (breathing) exercises! As a result, I wanted to share five more with you this week ūüôā May they be of benefit!
  1. Square Breathing: When most people think of breathing, they think of inhaling and exhaling. What they don’t realize is that there are two…
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My Top 5 Favorite Pranayama (Breathing) Exercises

  • “As long as you’re breathing, there’s more right with you than wrong with you.” ~¬†Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • “If I had to limit my advice on healthier living to just one tip, it would be to learn to breathe correctly.” ~¬†Dr. Andrew Weil
  • “Many healings of other physical troubles have occurred in my clients after they started to integrate breathing practices into their lives. There is a simple but encompassing reason that may explain this. The human body is designed to discharge 70% of its toxins through breathing. Only a small percentage of toxins are discharged through sweat, defecation, and urination. If your breathing is not operating at peak efficiency, you are not ridding yourself of toxins properly.” ~¬†Dr. Gay Hendricks

My Top 5 Favorite Pranayama Breathing Exercises

I want to introduce you to a few breathing exercises that require no money, no equipment, no travel, no practitioner, no special talent, and very little time to¬†perform.¬†Research¬†has¬†proven that these exercises are beneficial in combatting stress, anxiety, and depression. Some of the exercises will relax you, and others…

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18 Ways Yoga Changed My Life

The term “yoga” is a Sanskrit word that means “union”¬†or “to join”.¬†This refers to the union of body, mind, and spirit (pretty holistic, right?).¬†Yoga is a 5,000 year old system that analyzes everything from conduct and philosophy to breath and meditation. Though most Westerners turn to yoga for relaxation and its other health benefits, the ultimate aim of yoga is something much bigger. Through the process of purifying our thoughts and actions, yoga gives us a clear path to attain bliss, peace, and self-realization. This practice is very near and dear to me because it’s radically transformed my life from the inside out.

18 Ways Yoga Changed My Life
Among other things, yoga has helped me to decrease stress and anxiety, increase my range of motion, boost my immune system, improve my posture, heal injuries, and learn how to really concentrate.¬†After five years of practicing yoga, you might imagine¬†that I¬†have developed more strength, flexibility, and balance as a result. And I have, but in more¬†holistic ways than you…

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How To Use a Neti Pot in Five Easy Steps (video included!)

This week’s¬†self-care exercise¬†will require:

  • 1 neti pot (available through Walgreens, Whole Foods,¬†or Amazon for $10-20)
  • Saline Solution (you can buy this prepackaged or you can easily make your own)
This practice will benefit you:
  • Physically
  • Energetically
How to use a neti pot in five easy steps

 

Last week I introduced you to the Ayurvedic practice of¬†drinking warm lemon water¬†first thing in the morning. How did it go? This week’s self-care practice has two things in common with last week’s: it also comes from Ayurvedic medicine¬†and it also involves water!

 

If you ever wake up with allergies, congestion, dry sinuses, nasal pressure, a sinus¬†headache, or a cold/flu (and, let’s face it, we all sometimes do), this week’s self-care practice is for you. Here are my five¬†easy steps to using a neti pot:
  • Step 1: Heat up some filtered¬†or distilled water. When using a neti pot, it is extremely important to¬†never¬†use tap water. (Note: you can get in the habit of warming up¬†a kettle of water in the morning and using some of it for your lemon water and the rest for your neti pot!)
  • Step 2: Put the saline solution into the neti pot. Walgreens sells…
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“On Celibacy” or “Holding the Pose”

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” – Rumi

Elizabeth Gilbert addressed the topic of sex in relation to her “Eat, Pray, Love” adventure, so I will too. That excerpt (below), in fact, is one of my favorite quotes of the entire book. I read it right after a devastating breakup in 2012. Liz’s words resonated so strongly with me that I also committed to never again use anyone as a scratching post for my own unfulfilled yearnings. (We’re several years into that commitment, and so far so good. I’ve remained single for the most part, but have been much more conscious in the few relationships that I have pursued.)

“When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.”

We had a big assignment due our last week of the yoga teacher training in Rishikesh. We were to put together…

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My First Tattoo

“Practice and all is coming.” – Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

Kalava TattooSee that on my pinky? That would be my first tattoo! It’s based off of the red/yellow string that you see wrapped around my wrist. In India, this is a blessing that you receive each time you visit a temple. It’s placed on your wrist after the priest blesses you and is used as a reminder of your commitment to God. In the opening ceremony of our yoga teacher training, we each received one to symbolize our devotion/commitment to yoga. (Remember, “yoga” is not just stretching–it’s a lifestyle that unites body, mind, and spirit and seeks to free us from ignorance and illusion.)

The tattoo is on my right hand because the right side represents giving (left = receiving) and it’s on my pinky because that represents the smallest/weakest part. In other words, I commit my practice to the smallest, weakest, most vulnerable parts of my being. That’s (part of) what spirituality is to me and that’s (part of) why I do yoga.

Five of us got this tattoo together. Once the program is over we’re going to travel together throughout Varanasi,…

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