The air is fresh and clean in spring and early summer, a perfect time to practice your breathing. Breathing exercises help create a rhythm within the body and also help bring about a mental and physical balance.
1. Start in Mountain Pose (OJ March/April 2008 issue) and concentrate on listening to your breath; feel your circulation, nervous system and the weight of your body. Focus on the inner body.
2. With a deep out-breath, release any nervous energy from your body.
3. Breathing in slowly, lifting your arms out to the side and then above your head.
4. Keep the pace even so that your arms come together above your head at the same time your breath is complete. Hold for a moment.
5. Let your arms down on the out-breath again, keeping the pace even and smooth-flowing as you breathe. Pause for a moment in that position.
6. Repeat this pattern at least three times.
7. After at least three rounds, stay in Mountain Pose for three rounds of natural breathing as you focus again on the sound of your breathing, circulation and the weight of the body. Focus on any changes you might feel.
8. Repeat this series for a total of three cycles.
To increase your focus in this subtle exercise, practice with your eyes closed. Remember to always breathe through your nose. Although it may seem simple at first, with repeated practice you will discover a depth to these exercises. Remember to enjoy the fresh air while practicing outside whenever you can.