05 Dec How 5 minutes of Deep Breathing Can Change You
The practise of Anulom Vilom , a breathing exercise, brought out a special kind of mindfulness, in the sense that, it felt like my body was growing right in front of my eyes!
Today I woke up, stretched my body and as I was about to step into the day, I felt like refreshing my mind, with a little bit of “wake-me-up-breathing” before I left my bed.
I had been getting a lot of advice to do Anulom Vilom Pranayama (a breathing exercise), from my friend,who swears by it!
In this the first word Anu roughly translates as with and word Loma means hair implying “with the grain” or “natural”. And meaning of Viloma is “against the grain.” Anuloma is opposite to Viloma. It is very helpful in respiratory diseases like Asthma. Anulom Vilom Pranayama is the best way to balancing the Tri dosas in our body.
Our body gets ill when Tri dosas are not in balancing position. Vaat, Pitta, Kaffa are know as Tri dosas, Tri means “three” and the meaning of dosas is impurities. All these are present in the body of everyone. If one of them is imbalanced then we suffer from different diseases. So it’s important to balance these tri dosas. If you really want to balance these Tri dosas than do Anulom vilom pranayam regularly. It is the simplest and best way for this.
Everytime I stare at the laptop without breaks, my eyes get strained and I say” Oh my eyes are so tired” and my friend would tell me to do a breathing exercise to bring coolness to the eyes.
Or everytime I complain about my puffy eyes or feeling drained of energy, my friend would patiently listen to me complain and would ask me to try out Anulom Vilom whenever possible.
Finally, I took it upon myself to heed to the advice and spent just 5 minutes practising Anulom Vilom and I have to admit, it felt AMAZING!
This breathing was so easy to do, and I want to share the same advise I received,because it feels like an energy bomb that explodes in the mind enabling a state of peaceful refreshment! And I know, I need that in the morning!
It awakened my mind with every inhalation, I felt as if my brain was also waking up and stretching itself! The transition from sleepy to peacefully awake becomes even smoother with these kinds of exercises.
So here are the steps I followed:
- First of all, I closed my eyes and sat in Padmasana and rested my hands on my knees. (easy to do on the bed, right?)
- I closed the right nostril with the right thumb and inhaled slowly through the left nostril, (inhale the oxygen as much as you can, this will fill your lungs with air).
- I then removed the thumb from the right nostril, and as I removed my thumb from the right nostril, I exhaled the air out. (when you exhale, use your middle finger to close your left nostril, inhale with your right nostril and remove the thumb from the right nostril, then exhale)
- Be focused and concentrate on your breathing.
I tried to repeat this process as much as possible for the next 5 minutes.
A lot of thoughts came into my mind, ” You have to wash your car today”, ” Are there enough oats for breakfast?” , “I have to pack my lunch for work”…you know, the daily list of things we think of, during the morning.
Since it was the first day, I let the thoughts flow in and out and realised that I wasn’t focusing on my breath. So I tidied up my mind, and tried to refocus on the breath as it went in and then out.
I was able to paint an image of air entering into the left nostril and forming a curve as it went past my eyes and upwards to the mind. I felt the same curve on the other side of the nose.
Both curves, I thought, looked like this shape: ) (
Just look at the shape between the eyes, it looks like the shape I mentioned above, right? I think that, this shape is symbolic to that of a tree bark. And with every inhale and exhale, the air is traveling up through the bark to the mind which is ” the tree”.
With every step , the tree got greener.
Mindfulness can hit you at any place, at any time and I chose to do Anulom Vilom Pranayama to bring mindfulness to my body.
By doing it right at the start of the day, I feel so calm and refreshed instead of tired, lazy and sleepy!
Do this everyday and it will help to cure mental problems like Depression, Anxiety, Tension etc, and is most beneficial for breathing related problems like Bronchitis and Asthma.
Nehita is a mindfulness expert who writes extensively on lifestyle management, wellness and ways to lead a healthier and a happier life. She is a part of Aware’s expert team on meditation. She is also an avid artist who spends most her time dribbling amazing stories through art.