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As a devoted yogi for over 17 years, I’ve come to really appreciate the value of controlled breathing.
I’ve seen the powerful ways in which simple Ujayii (victorious breath) breathing in an out through the nose can serve as a beautiful calming metronome for my physical practice. Nadhi Shodhana (alternate nostril breathing) time and again cools my nerves in moments of imbalance or stress. Without breath, my prana, or life force, which I attempt to cultivate through my yoga practice, would have no real avenue for circulation; the breath is everything.
In meditation, we see the function of controlled breath even more acutely. As meditation expert Lodro Rinzler tells us in this simple breathing meditation, “Meditating on the breath is one of the simplest contemplative techniques and it’s also one of the most profound. Because the breath is always with us, it serves as an anchor into the present moment, which we can tap into at any given time.” Simply focusing on your inhales and exhales, noticing where you’re holding, and where you’re resisting, can serve as a window into the patterns of your mind. With the help of your meditation practice, you can begin to find your way onto your path toward the healing you need to live your most full and effective life.
See also The Science of Breathing
Guided Breathing Meditation Video
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