While change and challenge are part of life, what if we could effectively manage our response to stress and not merely survive but thrive in today’s fast-paced world? Many find Pranayama, or yogic breathing, to be an absolute game-changer since the breath is one of the easiest doorways into the human nervous system. It touches every aspect of our being: physical, emotional, and spiritual.
A daily Pranayama practice stimulates the body’s natural relaxation response, creating a sense of calm that decreases heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension. It also helps you reconnect to your body and shift your awareness away from the chatter in your mind. Because every emotional state we experience has a corresponding pattern of breathing associated with it, when we spend several minutes a day consciously regulating our breath, we break our unconscious patterns of breathing — and thus the unconscious emotional and thought patterns.
Here are five Pranayama practices. Try incorporating some of these each day for two weeks: