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3 Proven Methods to Unwind Your Mind During Quarantine

1. PRANAYAMA BREATHING PRACTICE - VILOMA 1

Viloma I brings a feeling of calm and lightness to the body. You become deeply relaxed. The practice builds lung capacity thus, provides more oxygen to the body. Deep breathing switches the nervous system from sympathetic to parasympathetic, which automatically calms the mind.


Preparation:

  • Lie down on your back. Give a slight elevation just beneath the knees, e.g. a folded blanket, slim pillow or rolled-up yoga mat. Allow the heals of the feet to rest on the floor, the toes are pointing toward the ceiling.

  • If your neck muscles are tight and you find that there is a large curve in the neck, meaning, the back of your neck is not flat on the floor. Fold a blanket 4" to 6" inches thick and allow the back of your head to rest on the folded blanket.

  • Rest the hands by your side, palms facing up toward the ceiling.

  • Close your eyes and pay attention to the natural - rise and fall - of the breath in your body.

  • To prepare for Viloma, practice 4 or 5 rounds of Ujjayi breath.

Then begin Viloma practice.

  • Remain on your back, with eyes closed. Inhale for two or three seconds, then pause, retaining the breath without letting air out (exhaling) for two or three seconds. (Point 1)

  • Inhale some more, for two to three seconds and pause again, continue retaining the breath without exhalation. (Point 2)

  • Finally, inhale to the "top" of your breath, for two or three seconds. Hold the breath for two or three seconds still without straining for exhalation. (Point 3)

  • Exhale slowly, in reverse order, from the "top" to the "bottom" of your breath. Without pausing at the "bottom" of your breath, begin the process again.

  • Repeat for 5x to 10x times.


** The bottom of the breath is the belly button (pulled in toward the spine). Inhale to Point 1 - is the belly full of air up to the bottom of the rib cage. Point 2 is the sternum, or collar bone, the point where the collar bone is about to rise due to your in-breath. Point 3, the final point, is the "crown" of your head, the very top of your scalp. The inclination here may be to resist by thinking, " How can I can I breathe into my head/brain?" What really happens is an expansion of the myofascial covering in the face and skeletal muscles provide for very deep relaxation in the head - hence brain activity slows significantly.


Stop if you feel fatigued or weak. Do not practice longer than ten minutes. Rest for three minutes in Savasana (Corpse Pose) when the practice is complete.



2. MOVEMENT/YOGA CALISTHENICS OR ASANA (AEROBIC OR ANAEROBIC)

Cultivate energy by using energy -- recall that energy yields absorption energy. YOGA can be both aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic improves the efficiency of the cardiovascular system and enhances transport and absorption of oxygen in the body. Anaerobic, gets you out of breath in just a few moments, e.g. lifting weights, sprinting or when you climb a long flight of stairs.


Do Sun Salutations for 5x to 10x rounds per morning. This is sufficient to tone the body significantly and bring about an increase of mind/body awareness and mental clarity.




Focus Points: Bring your "awareness" to awareness by bringing your “focused thought” to the area identified in the instruction of each pose (the little yellow dot). Thus, body/energy awareness is cultivated. You may move as slowly or swiftly as desired, as long as you move in-tune with your breath as specified; inhaling, exhaling, and retaining where instructed. Be sure to rise early and take care of body releases/functions e.g., urination and/or defecation, and other personal hygiene required. If done later in the day, practice at least two hours after eating.



3. WALK OR ENGAGE IN HORIZON STARING

Look into a clear horizon without a lot of movement or human activity. This instantly calms the mind. After a few minutes, the brain can move from Beta (Active, thinking, processing) to Alpha (Calm, relaxed yet alert) and if you are sitting on a beach or a bench you may even slip off to Theta (Deep meditation /relaxation) that can lead to REM sleep. Make sure you are in a safe and secure place.



Delta: 1 to 4 hertz - Deep Sleep

Theta: 4 to 7.5 hertz - Deep Meditation

Alpha: 7.5 to 12.5 hertz - Relaxation, Sense of Peace

Beta: 12.5 - 30 hertz - Concentration, Motivation/Focus

Gamma: 30 to 100 hertz - Memory Function, Sense Stimulation


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