Thinking over the wonderful experiences I had last year, I remember one of my favorites was the opportunity to share yoga with the hard working employees of Dallas County at the Dallas County HR and Sheriff Department Health Fair. Over the course of the day, I met new friends and had the pleasure of introducing them to yoga and meditation. Having heard about the many benefits of yoga and being curious about the popularity of the practice, many of them were willing to try yoga with me there at the fair for the very first time.
We stretched, breathed and found a little peace and silence together in the span of just a few minutes right there in the Central Jury Room at the Frank Crowley Courthouse. Many of the new yogis felt renewed and relaxed after those few short minutes of yoga practice. One woman even got instant relief from a migraine under which she had been suffering. It reminds me that it doesn’t take much time or even much effort to practice yoga on a daily basis. Even a few minutes of mindfulness or conscious breathing at our desks or in our cars can bring us a welcome break from our busy days, instantly uplift us and give us a greater peace of mind.
Want to try it? Take a few moments to connect with your breath right now. No worries. I’ll wait. :-)
(Be sure to consult with your doctor before performing yoga or breathing exercises to make sure you’re within your healthy range of activity.)
Close your eyes. Sit up nice and tall, lengthening the spine. Place your feet flat on the floor or sit cross-legged. Rest your palms face up or down on your thighs. Scan your body for places where you may be holding tension and consciously relax those areas and the entire body. Make sure you loosen the jaw and relax the shoulders.
Take a moment to notice your breath. Are your breaths long, short, shallow, steady? Just make an observation, noticing how you feel.
Now begin to lengthen your breaths. Inhale deeply and smoothy for a count of 6. Then pause or hold your breath for a count of 2. Then exhale steadily for a count of 6. Then pause or hold your breath for a count of 2 then return to the inhale breath starting the cycle over again. Note: your counts may be quick or slow depending on your lung capacity. Either is fine. Continue this breath for two to three minutes. If at any point you feel lightheaded or discomfort, stop and return to normal breathing.
Once you complete the exercise, notice the difference in how you feel. Do you feel more calm, grounded, balanced, clear headed, connected? I hope so. (You can let me know in the comments below.) It doesn’t take long to create more serenity in your life. If my new friends and I can create a few moments of peace in a courthouse, I dare say peace can be found anywhere we take a moment to consciously connect with our breath.
Just keep breathing.
Anietie blogs about what moves her which is usually yoga, the arts and love.