Low back trouble, digestion or elimination problems? Here a simple breathing and imagery exercise to help soothe and relax you.
***Most Yogic breathing emphasizes techniques are designed to move prana(vital energy) to energize and fuel asana(posture and meditative) practices. When using breath in a more targeted way we can address the specific component(Vayu or wind) of energy that moves within different parts of the body. This breath technique soothes and relaxes the area of the belly and low back/pelvic girdle and stimulates the downward moving Vayu called apana. According to Yoga, this helps to release deep tension and energy blocks support a healthier energy pattern in support of digestion, elimination and reproductive function. Basically, this is the reverse of the usual 3 part Yogic breathing techniques usually taught in Yoga class.
You can read more about Vayus here.(1)
It is important to emphasize that when we work with breath and energy very often force is counterproductive. Be easy and patient and enjoy the results.
1.)To do this simply lie down on your back with knees bent and feet flat for comfort. Breathing through the nose, slowly and without force feel the breath move and expand the chest, upper ribcage and upper spine, exhale and release easily and completely.
2.)Continue in each stage until the breath is fluid and easy. Don’t force the breath. As you are ready to allow the breath further down into the base of the ribs, middle spine, solar plexus and upper belly, exhale and release the breath slowly and easily upward from the upper belly, through the rib cage and out completely.
3.)As you feel open and ready imagine feel the movement of breath as you inhale the breath downward through and into the lower belly, through the low back and intestines and out the floor of the pelvis. As the breath movement meets the belly and below there will be resistance to the breath itself continuing downward and outward. At this point, it will be the sense and “image” of breath rather than the physical breath moving in this way. Create this inner sense of the release and opening of the body and breath downward and outward all the way into the and through the floor of the pelvis. Allow a sense of the pelvic floor opening and spreading outward at the end of the inhale. An image can be the petals of a flower opening.
4.)The exhale begins with the pelvic floor drawing upward again, the belly ribs and upper chest drawing inward toward the back to release the breath completely. The image here can be of the petals of the flower softly drawing inward and closing Continue through the layers of holding and tension that may be there until you feel complete, 3-5 minutes or so should do it.
With patience and over a few breaths the area below the belly and into the low back will respond to the subtle invitation to open and relax. At this point back and belly muscles release added blood and energy flow can stimulate the essential processes of digestion and elimination.
***If the exercise makes you teary-eyed, anxious or uncomfortable, simply discontinue it immediately. This does not diagnose or treat any medical condition or replace any medical treatment and consult your physician before beginning this or any other exercise, breath or mediatation program. Please read our site disclaimer for more information on the responsible use of any information presented here.
(1) The Five Vayus, Yoga Basics.com, http://www.yogabasics.com/learn/the-five-vayus/