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Stress is a slow and silent killer. Pent up anger and frustration and anxiety wreak havoc on the body and mind, stealing joy and happiness from daily life and shortening life span. But a heart that exercises joy and love is a happy heart.
Yoga and meditation practices have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, to quiet the mind and slow the breath, and to prolong quality of life.
In today’s video, wellness healer and yoga coach Kaamini Patel will share simple yet powerful breathing meditative techniques to help you do just that — relax and reduce stress so you can open your heart to feel joy — and life — pumping through it again.
Today’s yoga meditation breathing exercise focuses on the heart center, to open it up for love. This exercise is simple to do and is a wonderful way to reduce anxiety, stress, frustration and anger that is held in and pent up in our daily lives. You can do it in any room of your house and any time of day, though I find doing it in the morning makes for a peaceful and joyful way to start the day…
Sit upright comfortably in a chair, with arms resting on your thighs, palms up, and lengthen the spine. Relax. You can do this at your desk, in bed, or even in your parked car when you’re stuck in traffic.
Place your right hand over your heart center and take five deep breaths to bring awareness into your heart chakra (yoga energy center).
As you breathe in, allow your chest to expand and your heart energy to come out. As you gently breathe out, allow your chest to return to neutral and relax your body.
This process opens the heart to love, in replace of stress and frustration. When we work on the computer or we drive a lot, we close the heart centers. So let’s focus on opening up the heart chakra.
Now take four breathing cycles of inhalation and exhalation. During this series recall something in your life that you feel gratitude for or remember a time when you felt most joyful. It can be anything small or big; perhaps a time when you visited a place or your family members. It could be thinking about your favorite cat. Embrace the gratitude this special memory causes you feel.
Next you will take five breath cycles. Breathe into your heart and bring positive feelings of love and gratitude into your heart. Again, imagine that place where you really feel a sense of joy and happiness. Daily life stressors make you forget this, but breathing meditation can return that joy, love and happiness to you again.
The more you practice this breathing exercise, the more relaxed you will become, and the more anger and frustration will leave the body to be replaced with love and joy and happiness. These are the states that create quality of life and prevent a shortened life as a result of stress.