TTC: Today I’m writing about a breathing practice to help you ‘stop freaking out’. This is the actual name given to this particular technique by Yogi Bhajan, Spiritual Master and creator of the Kundalini Yoga tradition.
I love this about the man.
Everything he taught was really practical. Even though he created this in the ’70s, it still feels as relevant today. There are no airs and graces about what he shared. Just practical down to earth tools that help.
How it works
When you’re about to freak out, see if you can catch yourself. Notice the tension in your throat, tightness in your chest, your mind going blank. Sigh out loudly and find a quiet place to sit for a moment. (This technique takes only 2 minutes.) Then do this:
- Sit upright so your spine is long
- Interlock your fingers
- Cross the thumbs over each other – make sure the right thumb sits on top of the left
- Bend your elbows and rest your interlocked hands on your stomach just below your bottom ribs where you diaphragm sits
- Close your eyes and notice which nostril is dominant i.e. more open
- Visualise breathing through this dominant nostril. It might feel a bit odd, (just warning you!) but keep going
- Try not to judge it, instead imagine what it feels like when you do this
- Breathe in this way for 1 minute
- Now, using your imagination reverse your breath and breathe through the nostril that feels less dominant
- Do this for another minute
- Open your eyes and notice how you feel
When you start to practice this it might be hard to identify which is the dominant nostril. If you can’t decide, don’t worry. Just pick a side and start to breathe through that nostril.
It can feel really odd to use your mind to breathe in this way. You might say to yourself ‘I’m not doing this right.’ Or ‘It feels like I’m breathing through both nostrils at the same time, even though I’m focusing on one’. Again, no judgement, just continue on.
Keep practicing this technique regularly so you get used to the sensation of breathing through one nostril at a time. The more you practice the easier it will be to switch. Then when you get hijacked and start to feel out of control, you’ll be able to breathe in this way and find calm automatically.
Healing your heart
Yogi Bhajan, believed that any work you do on yourself in this life, particularly healing wounds from your childhood or relationships with your parents and siblings, enables you to heal seven generations behind you and seven generations in front of you.
I find this hugely inspiring to know that the work that I’m doing on myself now, will affect and heal both my past and my future.
*TTC – Trying To Conceive
Thank you @buddhadoodles for the beautiful image