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MomTalk.com April 26, 2017:   The women's magazine for moms about children, family, health, home, fashion, careers, marriage & more


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Energize Naturally: Switch From a Barista to Bhastrika

Imagine you are at work on a gloomy Thursday. It's 3:00 pm and you can feel the effects of your large lunch taking over. Your blood sugar is in flux and you feel sleepy. Thoughts are directed to the closest espresso shop in town. You feel that you need something to get you through the rest of the day. Instead of spending four dollars on that high sugar, high calorie latte you have another choice. You can breathe.

By Stacy Seebart, Aagesen Chiropractic Clinic
Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, Certified Yoga Teacher

Imagine you are at work on a gloomy Thursday. It's 3:00 pm and you can feel the effects of your large lunch taking over. Your blood sugar is in flux and you feel sleepy. Thoughts are directed to the closest espresso shop in town. You feel that you need something to get you through the rest of the day. Instead of spending four dollars on that high sugar, high calorie latte you have another choice. You can breathe.

Breathwork has been used by many yoga practitioners to warm up the body and to move through certain postures. It can also be used to wake up the body and mind. Yogic breathing is called "pranayama" which means to gain awareness of the vital force inherent in the breath. "Prana" means life force and "yama" means to control.* If you have the ultimate- platinum- regular- customer- punch- card at your local coffee house you might be a bit skeptical that breathing will affect you like a hot drink can. If you try these simple techniques you might just surprise yourself and decrease your caffeine intake.

1. Bhastrika (Bellows breath): Take a full powerful inhale, through your nose and extend your arms upward so they line up with your ears, then take an exaggerated dynamic exhale, through your nose while pulling the arms back down to your hips bending at the elbows. Develop this practice slowly. Begin with a few rounds of inhales and exhales and then rest. Work up to repeating for about ten rounds.

2. Lion's Breath: Take a long inhaling breath and have a long exaggerated exhale. During the exhale you open your mouth, stick out your tongue and say the sound "Haaaaaaaaaahhhhh". Sometimes it helps to squint your eyes, squish your face or open your eyes really wide. This breath can be used at the end of Bhastrika or alone.

Benefits of pranayama are widespread but the most noticeable are the relief of lethargy and clearing of the mind. If you have a head cold, chronic respiratory imbalances, are pregnant, or have other mental imbalances you may not want to practice this technique.

* Source: Interdisciplinary Yoga Teacher Training Manual; Don Stapleton
nasarayoga.com



Categories: Health & Wellness, Women's Health,


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