As many of you have read in my earlier posts I am struggling with the whole job quest and the anxiety around what my new career will look like. I love yoga and I love teaching yoga but if anyone has ever struck out as a full time yoga teacher you quickly realize it is hard to support yourself at it. Most people need an additional income. That is what I am currently looking for. In the midst of this search I struggle with feelings of fear, ego deflation, inadequacy, anxiety, and restlessness. The anxiety sometimes grows into what feels like a mental breakdown at times.
Recently my awesome boyfriend bought me a book called Yoga for Depression by Amy Weintraub. There is a chapter on yoga breath. Yoga breath is also called pranayama. I have done pranayama in many yoga classes. I even lead my classes on it. But, for some reason I resist practicing it on my own. I must admit my type A personality finds its way into my yoga practice and sometimes I just want to get a vigorous workout and skip the pranayam. But, today in the midst of feeling a ton of anxiety about my life plan I decided to try one of the techniques outline by Amy Weintraub in her book. It calmed me down tremendously.
The technique I did was alternate nostril breathing. When your left nostril is more open you are operating out of your right brain which leads to one being more in touch with their emotions and their creative side. When your right nostril is more open you operate out of your left brain which leads to being more analytical and logical. Practicing this technique balances both brain hemispheres. It is very calming and brings one into balance.
The way it is practiced is by using your fingers to press one nostril while you breath out of the other. You make a fist with your hand and pull out the thumb and pinkie with ring finger leaving the index and middle finger folded. Bring you hand to your nose then start by pressing down the right nostril with the thumb. Then inhale through your left nostril. Next release the thumb and press down your left nostril then exhale through the right nostril. Then inhale through the right nostril, lift the fingers and press down the right nostril while exhaling out the left. And continue to repeat the pattern until both nostrils are open and you feel calm. Here is a video on it if you need help understanding http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0EmSb0OA54
There are many other forms of pranayama but for today this was the one that got me more calm and focused. I started to see things more optimistically. I felt like I could get through my day and enjoy it.
- Yoga for Depression: A Compassionate Guide to Relieve Suffering Through Yoga by Amy Weintraub (jstamilbookhouse.wordpress.com)