Smile, breathe and go slowly. ~Thích Nhất Hạn
Perhaps the most powerful ingredient in the “recipe” for stress management offered by the practice of Yoga is the reliance on breath to transform the physical and mental response to stress itself. Breath is the biochemical fuel for respiration, and according to Yoga is the source of prana, our subtle vital energy. Because it is always with us in the present moment, developing facility connecting to and adjusting the rhythm and placing of the breath on and off the Yoga mat is a powerful and immediate way to help anyone to get a handle on how they respond to life’s challenges.. With this can come better more helpful responses to the these challengess. Growing connection to our breath is often the key that unlocks the effectiveness of Yoga asana and movement and deepens the impact that meditation and imagery have on our consciousness.
Often (breathwork) is be done seated as a precursor to a meditation practice. However you can also connect to our breath in movement. For those who wish bring their Yoga practice into a relaxing walk; below is a pranayama practice adapted from the by IndiaDivine website.
Pranayama While Walking(1):
Walk with head up, shoulders back and with chest expanded. Inhale slowly through both nostrils counting OM mentally 3 times, one count for each step. Then retain the breath till you count 12 OMs. Then exhale slowly through both nostrils till you count 6 OMs. Take the respiratory pause or rest after one Pranayama counting 12 OMs. If you find it difficult to count OM with each step, count OM without having any concern with the steps.
Initially it may be difficult to stay with the breath timing lengths given. Overt time, build up to the ratios and lengths indicated.