Natural Espresso in the Morning: 15 minutes of Prañayama

I am one of those coffee addicts, I drink at least three cups within the first half of my day. Since the start of the 200H YTT, I have narrowed it down to only one cup at around noon; not by choice, but naturally my body adjusted because of the morning prañayama I have learned at Tirisula and applied into my daily mornings.

Here is a short three-step breathing practice to apply to your busy schedule, it should only take you 15 minutes. If you are busy, all the more I encourage you to do this. If you have more time in your hands, maybe giving yourself an extra 10 minutes for a second expresso.

In our everyday life, it is very easy to go on without really taking time to listen to the needs of our bodies, regulate our breathing patterns and quieting the mind. 20% of oxygen is taken up by thought; by cleansing our mind and body first thing in the morning, we can change the outlook of our whole day.

1. Surya Namaskar, I make sure to greet the sun at around 6:10am, after walking the dog and having a warm cup of hot water. I do a few easy sun salutations to wake up the body. By stretching my arms out, I already feel more energised than I did a few moments ago. Then, I give myself some time to allow the body to act before the mind, maybe it needs a deep forward bend or some ankle rolls.

2. Kapalabhati, known as the skull shining breathing technique. It helps increase your metabolism, increase stimulation of the abdominal muscles and organs, improves your digestive system and the absorption of nutrients. It energises the nervous system, uplifts the mind and brings vibrancy into your skin.

It is important that you learn how to do these techniques the proper way, if you can find a yoga practitioner near you to teach you directly, it would be best. If not, there are several tutorials available online. Avoid kapalabhati if you have had any recent abdominal surgery, pregnancy, menstruating or have any hyper-tension or heart problems.

3. Nadi Shodhana, alternative nostril breathing. I find this practice to be grounding and centring. It teaches us to be patient, because it takes a bit of discipline to do. For my personal practice, I do nine rounds on each side every morning. If I am in a rush, I make sure to do at least six.

I close my morning practice with meditation.

They say that the only thing constant is change. In our daily chaos, cheer and at times, catastrophe. I find that I can at least ground and center myself every morning by taking a moment to wake up my inner landscape, before bringing myself into the environment of a bustling city.

I hope you can all find your own rhythm that works best for your mornings and your life.

Chloe C. Chotrani, 200H YTT Sept 2017