When I am dragging in the morning (as I was this morning) and no amount of highly-sugared coffee will do the trick, I often think something like, ‘I should do Breath of Fire.’
It goes like this a lot of the time; for whatever trouble I face, like a lack of focus or inability to sleep, I invariably turn to my yoga toolbox to get me though.
For Quick Energy, Try This.
When I need to energize my body or mind Breath of Fire works every time.
To do it: It’s a rapid breath that is fueled by the powerful pumping of your belly in and out. Take a deep breath in through the nose and let your belly expand. Then squeeze all the air out through your nose by pulling your belly back as hard as you can. If it helps, concentrate on your navel (you can also put your hand over your navel to better feel the belly move) moving forcefully in and out. Pull the navel back toward the spine as you exhale.
The rate is rapid, around 10 breaths per five seconds. If you find yourself getting light-headed, slow down your breathing.
When You Can’t Focus, Try This.
When I need to stop the “monkey-mind” – when your brain jumps from one thing to the next – I recite a mantra. Mantras are wonderful for focusing the mind. It’s nearly impossible to completely quiet the mind; the best you can do is give your mind something to focus on. This is where mantras are incredibly helpful.
Adi Shakti ~
Adi Shakti, Adi Shakti, Adi Shakti, Namo namo
Sarb (Serabah) Shakti, Sarb, Shakti, Sarb Shakti, Namo namo
Pritham Bhagvati, Pritham Bhagvati, Pritham Bhagvati, Namo namo
Kundalini Mata (Mahata) Shakti, Mata Shakti Namo namo
Adi Shakti calls on and honors the universal powers of creation.
Aad Guray Nameh – or the Mantra for Protection
Aad Guray Nameh
Jugaad Guray Nameh
Sat Guray Nameh
Siri Guru Day Vay Nameh
Aad Guray Nameh honors universal and eternal wisdom.
Who couldn’t use a little energetic protection now and then? I use this mantra any time I travel, it helps me to feel calm and safe.
And If You Can’t Sleep, Try This.
When I can’t sleep there are two different mantras that help to bring my mind down into a meditative state which helps me move more easily into deep sleep.
Ra-Ma-Da-Sa-Sa-Say-So-Hum and Sa-Ta-Na-Ma, when softly whispered or repeated mentally, have a profoundly soothing effect on the mind and body. It’s kind of like, being asked to count-down from 10 when you are about to be put under anesthesia; most people get to six or seven and then they’re out. The mantras produce a similar result.
Use of any of these mantras or breathing exercises will help you immensely in your day to day life. It always impresses me how these tools have become such an integral part of me that I don’t even have to think much about them. I just naturally move through them throughout the day.
Yoga is so much more than putting your body into strange and challenging positions.
It’s a way of thinking. It’s a way of being. It’s a way of life.
© 2018 Tamara Jefferies.