Day 5 – Q5: I’m moving to a new city to start a new job. I have a lot of anxiety about the move. Are there any yogic breathing exercises will help me prepare for this major change?
Reply: During a major change, such as moving to a new place or starting a family, our tendency is to want to hide out or get away from it all. When I moved to Japan I had to force myself to pack up boxes, close bank accounts and say good-bye to old friends. It sucked, but change is an inevitable part of growth. So let’s take a look at a breathing exercise that encourages balance.
Again, find a quiet, comfortable place in which to practice. Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position and take a few complete breaths; depending on the amount of time you have, you can center yourself for 5-10 minutes. Breathe deeply into the belly and each time you exhale allow the out breath to lengthen. Our tendency when we get nervous is to use our reserve area, the top 20% or so of our lungs, and we breathe in a shallow and quick way. Completely filling the diaphragm saves the reserve area for times when we really need it, like running from a bear during a camping trip. (I hope you never have to!)
The best explanation I have heard for this style of breathing comes from Bri. Maya Tiwari’s excellent, The Path of Practice: A Woman’s Book of Ayurvedic Healing.
“Block your left nostril with your right ring finger and pinkie, and inhale through your right nostril. Then block your right nostril with your right thumb and exhale through your left nostril. Continue alternating right and left nostrils for approximately ten minutes. Be sure to always inhale through the same nostril from which you just exhaled. As you become more adept, you can work your way up to inhaling for eight counts, exhaling for sixteen.”
Regular practice of alternate-nostril breathing calms the mind, centers the body, balances the emotions and grounds you, all of which will be of tremendous help during a major change in your life.
I highly recommend Gwen#s classes. She is an amazing teacher. To find out more about Yoga Garden see their website www.yogagarden.jp or email Gwen at firstname.lastname@example.org