For type A people, sitting down and taking time for "just breathing" can be as struggle, as can focusing on the breath once this 2 to 5 minutes has been carved out.
For this personality type (of which I count myself a member), a simple breath technique known as alternate nostril breathing (Nadi Shodhana) can be a real blessing because you quite literally grab yourself by the nose an use you fingers to manually control the breath.
"Hey dummy," I sometimes say to myself, "we're breathing now, okay?"
Your self-talk doesn't need to be so aggressive to reap the benefits of this breath work (Pranayama).
Alternate nostril breathing helps focus (without caffeine!), is calming to the central nervous system, is thought to balance the body and brain (though you may need a tissue--gross, but you'll see), and can improve lung function over time.
Here's how to do it:
1. (blow your nose gently--trust me)
2. Sit up tall
3. place your middle and index fingers of the right hand on the space between the eyebrows so that your thumb is position to the side of the right nostril and your ring and pinkie fingers are to the side of the left nostril
4. use your thumb to press the right nostril shut and inhale through the left nostril to a count of four
5. use the pinkie and ring finger to press the left nostril shut as you release the right nostril and exhale through the right nostril for a count of four or longer.
6. once the first breath cycle is complete, begin again by inhaling through the right nostril while the left nostril stays shut. close the right nostril and exhale through the left side.
et voilà!--breath work for those who need to be grabbed by the nose!
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