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Showing posts from 2007

Identify joyfulness

This is a good technique if you're suffering. It seems that no matter what we're going through there's always a little corner of our being that has joyfulness in it. I'm not going to speculate about joy and how to define it or where it comes from - it's just one of those things we have. So,

1. Sit quietly and identify some joyful moments in your life. Take a moment to immerse yourself in those moments.

2. Now close your eyes and practice some deep breathing. Count your breath if necessary.

3. Next identify the joy within yourself. Try to locate it physically.

4. Now try to merge your whole body with this feeling. Allow it to spread through your whole body or breathe into the place where you found it and allow your attention to settle there.

5. Cultivate the joy and bring it into the next moments of your day.

Joyfulness, happiness and inner peace are some of the way markers into deeper states of meditation. It's good to identify them and become familiar with them as …

Life is long

Be friendly with yourself.

Alternate nostril breathing

This exercise is a good one to do everyday to clear out your head and get prepared for some activity. Once again, do it for 3-4 minutes to get your brain activity set right. Here's how to do it:

1. Sit with your back straight.
2. Take your left hand and place your thumb on your left nostril, your index finger and middle finger on your forehead, and rest your ring finger on your right nostril.
3. Now breathe in through your right nostril and at the end of your inhalation close it with your ring finger.
4. Next open your left nostril and exhale.
5. Now go the other way, in through your left and out through your right.
6. Repeat until centered.


It's known as Nadi Sodhana in the yoga world, and you can find lots of descriptions about it online. There are also variations on hand positions.

Clear head breathing

I've been doing this one for about 23 years now - I think I picked it up from an article I read at the dentists. It works well for calming your brain activity (see earlier posts) and for emptying your mind from over thinking.

1. Find a comfortable sitting or lying position.
2. Imagine your head is filled with dark smoke. Imagine the smoke is your thoughts.
3. Now, breathe in deeply through your nostrils and into your head and down into your belly. Imagine your breathe is pure, white smoke. Imagine the white smoke dissolving the dark smoke.
4. Breathe out through your mouth and imagine the dark smoke leaving your head. Imagine that a small area of darkness has been cleared.
5. Repeat this process for 3-4 minutes until you feel your head is filled with pure, white smoke only.
5. Enjoy the feeling of clear headedness for a few breathes before returning to your normal activities.

Equal breath exercise

Doing breathing exercises is a skill that you learn over time rather than something that you can assume you're an expert at immediately. As with most things, it takes time for your brain to adapt to the new activity that you are trying. Once you have learned the new behavior, you will be in a better position to use it when you need it most.

The equal breath breathing exercise  is one of the most straightforward exercises to practice and one that I do quite a lot when I'm frazzled.

As always, find a comfortable place to sit with your back upright, or do it lying down if you prefer. Now do the following sequence:

1. Breathe in to the count of four
2. Breathe out to the count of four
3. Repeat this around four to six times. If counting to six and breathing to four is getting too numeric, touch the segments of your fingers with your thumb until you've done the appropriate number fingers.
4. Then, breathe in to the count of five
5. Breathe out to the count of five
6. Repeat six…