Hey guys. Apologies for the lateness of this post. If you follow me on Insta (and you should, it’s my fave social media platform and I’ve love to get to know you better there!) you’ll know I’ve been sick. Specifically my throat has been hurting and scratchy and generally icky, which left me unable to record the guided meditation for this post – hence the lateness. But, now I’m feeling better and just finished the recording – hooray! 😉 I hope you’ll all check it out below.
This is the last post in my Yoga for Anxiety series (what did you think? I’d love to know!). Today we’re focusing on using the other aspects of yoga, besides asana, to give us energy and confidence. Below you’ll find my guided meditation for energy, a mantra, and then a type of breathwork called kapalbhati pranayama, which translates to skull-shining breath. I won’t lie, this isn’t my favorite type of breathwork as it tends to make me feel very hot and has actually made me feel a bit anxious in the past. I know, maybe controversial since we are working to reduce anxiety, but I wanted you to see what’s available to you. As an alternative I’m sharing a much simpler and more relaxed way to energize yourself using your breath. Read on…
I am exactly where I need to be. I have everything I need.
Wherever you are, in this moment, it is exactly where you are supposed to be right now. We’re cultivating tools for the future, preparing to be our very best selves. All of the tools we need to be the best versions of ourselves already exist inside of us. Our work is to uncover these tools beneath the materialism, sadness, anxiety, and ego-driven veils clouding our vision. There’s no need to rush, only practice. Practice patience, love, kindness, understanding, compassion, and forgiveness. For ourselves and others. Trust. Embrace. Be.
Rather than try to explain kapalabhati myself, I’m linking you to a great video that will give you great instructions on how to do this yourself. I encourage you to watch the whole thing before trying it. As I mentioned above, it can be a little intense sometimes. Make sure you aren’t doing this on a full stomach!
Alternate Nostril Breath
If you think that particular breathwork technique isn’t for you, give this variation of alternate nostril breathing a shot instead.
In pranayama we think of the left and the right nostril in terms of masculine & feminine, or sun & moon. The left nostril is associated with the feminine aspect of each of us and the moon. The right nostril is associated with the masculine aspect of each of us and the sun.
I recommend closing off the left nostril (as shown to the left) and breathing slowly and steadily through on the right nostril for about 2 minutes. Stop there and notice how you’re feeling.
If you’re feeling good, stop, release both nostrils and take about 5-10 deep breaths in through the nose, out through the nose.
How do you feel? If you’re feeling a bit jittery you can close off the right nostril and breathe only through the left to balance out the masculine and feminine energies of the body (for about 1 minute). Alternatively, you could practice a few rounds of alternate nostril breathing, switching off closing one side and the other… check out the video below for further instruction.
Quickly… 1 – please don’t feel like you have to sit on your legs as shown in the video. 2 – The times suggested in the video are just that, suggestions. If you only have time for 2-5 minutes or feel great after 2 minutes, go for that. 3 – Don’t rush back into your day after any type of breathwork. Sit and breathe and notice how you’re feeling before moving on.
If you’re interested in more info on the nostrils and associated nadis, check out this super informative and interesting article – you won’t be disappointed!
That’s all I have for you today. I mentioned this on Instagram, but I wanted to mention it here as well….I’ll be cutting back to posting one time per week instead of two. My daughter is out of school for the summer and rather than give you all rushed or half ass content, I’ll continue to put out something great once per week. This will allow me to have time for my daughter and for massage school. I’ll be back to posting twice per week in August. I hope you all have a great weekend! ♥