“What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?”
This question struck me initially and I realised that some of the most common answers we hear from most people would be: “Brush my teeth…”, “Go to the toilet…”and “Check my mobile phone…”
We have been leading a fast paced life with standard routines that may not necessarily serve us in the long run. Why not incorporate yoga to your lifestyle that gives you a clearer and steady mind at the beginning of everyday?
For a start, we can do the following:
- Wake up with gratitude. Start your system by producing a few OM sounds to slowly awaken your body and regulate your breathing.
- Alternate nostrils are closed, generally by using the right hand’s thumb, and fourth and little finger. The thumb is used for closing the right nostril and the fourth and little fingers are used to close the left nostril. The mouth is closed, and is not used for breathing. No sound should be produced while inhaling or exhaling.
- Warm up your body by normal breathing rate through alternate nostrils at a ratio of 1:2. When you start with the right side, you should end with the right side (vice versa). For those with blocked nose, you may want to do Kapalabhati first (refer to point number 4 in this article).
(b) Ujjayi (Victory over the mind)
- Ujjayi is especially known for the soft hissing sound, the breather makes by directing your inhales and exhales over the back of the throat.
- Breathe in Ujjayi when walking or running, this will allow you to get more oxygen into your lungs and you don’t feel exhausted that easily. I have personally done this when I walk everyday and I can brisk walk for more than 1km without feeling any form of tiredness or exhaustion.
3. Uddiyana Bandha (Not suitable to do during pregnancy or when having menstruation)
- The technique involves after having exhaled all the air out, you suck in the abdomen under the rib cage by taking a false inhale while holding the breath, and then releases the abdomen after pausing there for about 15 seconds. This process is repeated many times before letting the air into the lungs, resuming normal breath.
- This is a very good form of massage for your organs. It will help to promote good digestive system, to be done on an absolutely empty stomach after you wake up.
4. Kapalabhati (Not suitable to do during pregnancy or when having menstruation)
- It is a form of detoxification breathing to clear the stale air in your lungs, and is intended mainly to the cleaning of the cranial sinuses.
- The technique involves short and strong forceful exhalations and inhalation happens automatically.
Life is not a race and we should not be a slave to our lives. How far can you go if you keep chasing after almost everything in life? It doesn’t matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.
Let’s start doing something for our well-being today!
– Kat Boey, 200hr YTT (Weekday – Nov 2013)