For people who are shy about speaking up, Simhasana pranayama is a great way to let out some noise. When you roar in Simhasana, your air should flow out freely. Do your best not to constrict the throat - this is all about freeing it up! The breath instead comes from contracting the abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor.
Diaphragmatic breathing is something we do instinctually. It’s also something we can easily do consciously. Just like other forms of mindfulness, diaphragmatic breathing can have far-reaching benefits, not the least of which is that breathing is good. And when you’re breathing with your diaphragm into the furthest reaches of your lungs, it can be even better.
Surprising as it may sound, buzzing like a bee can be just about the most relaxing, mind-numbing way to settle your head. When you breathe in the Humming Bee Breath manner, you'll quite literally set your brain abuzz.
This yogic breathing practice can help lower your body temperature and relax your thoughts. It has an overall calming effect on the nervous system, reducing anxiety and agitation. For those of us in SoCal with the pending heatwaves and wildfire season, this breath is a must-have. It brings cooling.
This is a combination of breathing and thinking. Not a lot of thinking, mind you! Just a bit to help your breath focus in a particular way. In exchange, this exercise doesn’t require you to maintain a set rhythm or muscular use. The focus here is not exactly how you breathe, but why.
Resonant breathing is a uniquely-paced breathing exercise. Rather than settling into a timeless rhythm or counting numbers, you’ll be sticking to a set number of complete breaths per minute. Resonant breathing, also known as coherent breathing, has been shown to maximize your heart rate variability (HRV).
What if you used walking to be mindful? If you find sitting still with your eyes closed to be a little slow, this is a slightly more energetic way of keeping your attention focused and your eyes open. Mindful walking is an easy way to center yourself in the here and now.
As your conscious mind steps out of the way bit by bit, your preconceived notions, assumptions, and baggage go with it. In between letting it all go and pure mindless mindfulness, there’s the stage of concentration, also known as Dharana.
Rather than focus on attaining a quality you already possess, you could instead remind yourself that these qualities are already there. This is the purpose of a sankalpa. Rather than saying “I will,” you are declaring “I already am.”
Gardening is a wonderful way to practice mindfulness. We care for plants as best we can, giving them the chance to grow. We can practice mindfulness, giving our thoughts room to grow.