At Choices Cafe, we serve food that is free of pesticides and GMOs, and is made from 100% plant-based, high-quality ingredients. We believe this type of food heals the body and the spirit. Yet we realize that the keys to wellness come not only from consuming a healthy diet of organic, plant-based foods, but also from proper self care. And Anna Nalick was onto something more than a good song when she said ‘Just breathe’…Sometimes healthfulness comes from something as utterly simple as conscious breathing. With the information overload, stress, and hectic schedules many of us face each day, our bodies and minds deserve a ‘time-out’ and a little TLC to stay grounded and healthy.
The following practice is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. It takes almost no time, requires no equipment, and can be done virtually anywhere. Its effects may seem subtle at first, but increased benefits will be noticed over time with continual practice.
To get started, sit upright in a comfortable position. Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, just behind your upper front teeth, *and keep it there through the entire exercise*. If you are familar with the yogi Ujjayi breathe, you will see the tongue position is quite similar.
1. Exhale fully and completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound, similar to the sound of the ocean waves
2. Close your lips and inhale quietly through your nose, counting (not aloud) to four
3. Hold your breath for a mental count of seven.
4. Open your lips and exhale fully through your mouth, making the ‘ocean’ sound for a count of eight.
5. This is one breath cycle. Now, inhale again through your nose and repeat the cycle three more times.
Please note that you should always be inhaling quietly through your nose, and exhale audibly through your mouth, and the tip of your tongue stays in Ujjayi position the whole time.
You might also choose to begin and end your breathing practice with some thoughts of gratitude. Being grateful is a powerful way to create more good in your life.