Over the coming weeks, we are going to talk about several yogic breathing techniques and how to use them to help cultivate a sense of deep relaxation. The best part, you can do it in ten minutes, or less!
Next time you’re feeling stressed, try focusing on “equal breathing” or Sama Vritti.
Sama Vritti is a Sanskrit phrase, ‘sama‘ meaning ‘even, smooth, flat, equal or same’ and ‘vritti‘ means ‘fluctuations or modifications’. So the phrase indicates a smoothing of the fluctuations of the mind into stillness. As its name suggests, it is said to create quality of ‘sameness’ or balance in the flow of consciousness.
Yogic Breathing Exercise
Step by Step: with this breathing exercise, it’s all about the balance. To start, inhale for a count of four, then exhale for a count of four (all through the nose, which adds a natural resistance to the breath). Continue this practice for five rounds. Got the basics down? Go for the more advanced breathing technique of aiming for six to eight counts per breath. Continue this practice for five rounds. Now begin to reduce the length of the breath. First inhale and exhale for a count of six for five rounds. Then inhale and exhale for a count of four for five rounds. Now return to breathing naturally without controlling the breath.
Sense how your body and mind feels. It should feel relaxed, calm and balanced.
This is one breathing technique that’s especially effective before bed. “Similar to counting sheep, if you’re having trouble falling asleep, this breathing technique can help take your mind off the racing thoughts, or whatever might be distracting you.
Come back next week for the next yogic breathing exercise in this series to cultivate a deep sense of relaxation.