Hi I’m Caren Baginski, and this is Willow,
and today we’re going to share with you three pranayama exercises that you can
do to relieve anxiety, worries and stress. Now, chances are you probably don’t pay a lot of attention to how you breathe every day, am I right? I mean, most of us are way too busy with our days to even catch a deep breath sometimes. That’s why pranayama is so essential for helping you to find
moments of calm during the chaos. Pranayama, by the way, just means breath
control. So let’s go ahead and get started with pranayama exercise number
one, which is simply elongating your exhales. What this will look like is we
will inhale together to a count of four and then we will exhale to a count of
maybe 6 or even 8 if you can stretch out the breath for that long. So first we
will just practice one together. I’ll count you through it and then I’ll let you
practice on your own, and you can follow along as I breathe. So come to a nice
comfortable seat, preferably your hips above your knees, or if you’re seated in
a chair that’s great too. Rest your hands in your lap or on your knees, and you’ll
go ahead and close your eyes. And then we’ll take a big breath in through the
nose, just even and easy, and big breath out. Let it go. Now we’ll inhale: one, two
three, four. Exhale: one, two, three, four, five, six. Inhale: two, three, four. Exhale:
two, three, four, five, six. Inhale with that count. Exhale longer. Continue at your own pace, making this
count work for you, rather than forcing tons of breath into the body and forcing tons of breath out, just simply work with what is available through your inhale and
through your exhale. We’ll take one more… and gently open your eyes. Just observe
in that short period of time, maybe how you’ve already started to shift.
Moving on to the second pranayama: Kapalabhati. So this is Skull Shining
Breath. This breath is a forceful exhale while pulling the abdomen in toward you.
So what I’d like you to do now is place both of your hands on your abdomen. You
can place one hand above the other or right here on your abdomen, and then
gently press your hands in and let that breath come out through the nose.
So feeling that belly come in and feeling that forceful exhale come out
through the nose. Now what we’ll do is we’ll take 10 rounds just focusing on
that exhale. We’ll fill up with an inhale and then we’ll exhale, exhale, exhale,
about one exhale per second. So don’t worry if you don’t catch on at first.
This is a little bit more… requires more awareness of pulling the abdomen in to
send the breath out. So once again close your eyes. We’ll take a big breath in, now
exhale, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10. Deep breath and follow
along. Another inhale, exhale. Inhale nice and deep, relax the hands
down and exhale nice and deep and even. Open the eyes. That was interesting, huh?
Sometimes it’s hard to find that pull, but usually by the third round you’re
able to settle into the breath. That is great for increasing mental clarity,
clearing out all the thoughts. You may even feel a little bit more lightheaded
right now. Our third pranayama exercise is Nadi Shodhana and this is Alternate
Nostril Breathing. We’ll begin by taking our right hand up and press the first
finger and the middle finger into the palm, and then match the ring finger open
with the pinky, and the thumb will remain open as well. If it’s not comfortable for
your hand, you can simply open up through the pinky, but this is the more
traditional way in Mrigi Mudra. We’ll close off the right nostril with the
right thumb and inhale through the left. Now close the left with the ring finger,
exhale through the right. Inhale right, gently close the nostril, exhale left.
Now close the eyes. Inhale left, close, exhale right. Inhale right, close and
exhale left. Inhale, exhale right. Inhale, exhale left. Inhale, exhale right.
Last round on your own. Inhale, finally exhale out the right nostril.
Bring the hand down to the lap, inhale through both nostrils and exhale through
both nostrils. Gently open the eyes. Notice any sensations in the nostrils,
perhaps both feel very open. This is a very balancing breath for both sides of
our bodies to come back to center and back into balance. So those were the
three exercises. Thank you so much for practicing. You can find more on my
website CarenBaginski.com and stay tuned because I have a special program
coming up if you are struggling with self-doubt, anxiety, depression that I
think you will really love. Namaste.