Welcome to the 21 day yoga breathing challenge.

I’m excited to have you here this challenge is designed to walk you step by step through a comprehensive but very short very manageable breathing assignment every day for three weeks so you lay the foundation for self-management self-regulation of your stress response.

These breathing practices will help to cool your nerves to regulate your nervous system to even help you sleep better.

One thing I’d like to mention is as the days go on will cycle from very simple practices to some practices that are pretty challenging under no circumstances should you push.

What I mean by that is if we get to a practice that makes you feel anxious or overwhelmed please leave that one out and take a step back we’re doing these practices specifically to relieve stress so if they create stress it’s counterproductive so please always feel free to revert back to any of the previous practices that might be more appropriate. This programme will challenge you with some new and different practices but remember your goal is to relax and reduce stress so if the opposite is happening please adjust.

A couple of things to think about while we’re practicing generally speaking when you practice on your own we count with our left hand and we control our nostrils with our right hand.

Our left hand rests on top of our left knee and we count by putting our thumb on the pads of our fingers and if I count around in a circle I have 123456789 ten around the outside pads of my fingers on my left hand a typical round of breathing his 10 rounds on every inhale I move my finger and this way I can count I’m sharing this with you because when you use these practices on your own it can be helpful to count.

With your right hand we use kind of a ‘hang loose’ symbol but you push the ring finger up as well and we use this to control our nose so my left hand is up and counting my right hand is up on top of my knee and it lifts up right nostril left nostril both nostrils right nostril left nostril both nostrils.

When you close up your nostrils or when you pinch both nostrils be very deliberate about it be very strong with your hand and you don’t want to be gentle or subtle you want to make a very firm closure of your nose it will help you to relax it’ll help you to regulate the nervous system.

The last thing I’d like to share with you in terms of technique is for all these practices we use something called ocean breathing and this is where we gently close off the back of our throat and make a whisper sound, imaging fogging up a mirror and making a HAAAAA sound.

If you are new to this practice then please feel free to breathe through out through your mouth and in through your nose until you feel comfortable enough to use this ocean sound on both the inhale and exhale.

This ocean sound comes from the back of your throat. This breath helps us focus our breathing patterns as we close off the back of the throat we help control our breathing.

It also massages your Vagus nerve, your Vagus nerve is directly correlated with your parasympathetic nervous system, your rest and digest system so as we massage this nerve we calm our body down.

As you’re moving through these practices do your best to follow along with my voice. You can sit in a cross legged position or you can also sit in a chair. If you are in a chair please move your back away from the support and plant your feet on the ground about as wide as your hips, spine straight and your chin parallel to the ground. You can also lie down on your back on the ground or in bed for any of these practices there’s nothing magical or special about sitting on the floor the most important thing is that you are comfortable. So find whatever position is most comfortable for you.

Thank you for joining me on this challenge. I hope you find these breathing practices beneficial in your life.