Monday, April 17, 2006

Kundalini Yoga breathing for Stress

"The main problem of the world is stress. It is not going to decrease - it is going to increase. If through pranayam the shock can be harnessed, the entire stress and disease can be eliminated."
-Yogi Bhajan

Are you stressed out? Overworked and underpaid, over committed and overwhelmed, worn out? If any of these words describe how you've been feeling, chances are you're stressed out. In this 21 st century, I think we are all living the epitome of the "Keeping up with the Joneses" kind of lifestyle.

Let's face it. Who doesn't want a little "bling bling" in their life, or a lot of "bling bling"? We are the "Get More" society. Have you noticed all of our advertising is aimed at getting more, bigger or better? Bigger home, fancier car, faster car, lose weight, gain muscle, etc. Just get more! There is more mail to read, now that our mail is mostly electronic, more calls made and received ( do you have more than one cell phone?), more deadelines to meet at work, more, more, more and more!

We've reached a time in our evolution where everything on our planet is accelerated. I know we all feel the pace, whether we are aware of it or not. It is only going to increase! Yes, we have made some great advances in technology, however, our bodies have not been prepared to handle this type of fast pace living. Our nervous systems are being stretched beyond their capacity, and that leads us to stress. We can do Kundalini Yoga to reduce stress.

One of the things we can use to reduce our feelings of stress is to BREATHE. Living in our "get more"world, we don't take the time out to relax. Lack of relaxation inhibits proper breathing. We hold a tremendous amount of tension and emotional garbage in our bodies, as if we're wearing battle armor. Proper breathing allows us to release this tension we're holding on to, increasing vitality and well being.

In Kundalini Yoga, we study Pranayam, which is the science of breath. In other words, we learn to manage the energy of our body by the conscious use of the breath. Here is a simple, but powerful breathing exercise to help you de-stress and relax. You can do it anytime, anywhere. You don't have to sit in any fancy positions to do it, and best of all, it's free.

Sitali Pranayam

Close your eyes. Stick your tongue slightly out of your mouth. Curl your tongue into a "U" shape. Inhale through your curled tongue, like your sipping through a straw. Exhale through your nose.
Sitali Pranayam has a powerful cooling, and relaxing effect on the body, while maintaining awareness. It is know to lower fevers and aids in digestion. You may notice a bitter taste on your tongue. This is a sign of detoxification. Don't worry, it will pass.

Try this Kundalini Yoga technique out and see how you feel. Remember, when you feel stressed, just take a breath.


Gurusher Singh