The ego wants to protect us but it almost always gets in our way. It can give us a false sense of self with an accompanying story. That story and all the fear based thoughts the ego likes to feed off can take over. When it takes over we end up coveting, leading to attachments and acquisitions. When it takes over we can also end up in fear, leading to aversions and self-loathing.....
Sit comfortably with left hand over heart and right hand in Gyan Mudra, thumb to first finger. Eyes closed. Draw ears over the shoulders, giving you a gentle Jalandhar bandh, or chin lock.
Breath: Inhale slowly through the nose, expanding horizontally 360 degrees. Suspend and hold the breath with full lungs for as long as possible. Lift the chest and pelvic floor.
When you can't hold the breath anymore and are starting to get that panicky feeling, exhale slowly and completely. Exhale until every drop of air is expelled from lungs, then hold the breath there for as long as possible. Then inhale slowly and repeat.
Time: Set your timer for 3-31 minutes
Ending: Inhale and Exhale strongly 3 times, then relax.
Benefits? It helps us see our relationships with others and ourselves more clearly. It also cultivates calmness and increases lung capacity. If you are confused or upset with yourself or someone else, try this meditation.
Why hold my breath? It helps retrain the nervous system. When we hold the breath in, our heart rate and blood pressure rises, then when we hold the breath out, our parasympathetic nervous system turns on, calming us. Wherever we suspend the breath, we experience moments of Shuniya or zero. Shuniya is the deepest level of stillness into which you can plant new seeds of behavior, thinking, or way of being.
- One beauty of this meditation is that you won't be able to miss the feeling of your heart beat into your left hand. It instantly brings you into the moment and into your body. Soak that up and use it in this meditation. Notice how the heart rate changes whether you are holding the breath out or in.
- Look into the center of your forehead with eyes closed ("Third eye") and soak up that shuniya, that sensation of zero, nothing, stillness. See that no thoughts (or very few) are crossing that internal movie screen.
Anxious, frantic, overwhelmed, or wheels running without direction. In the extreme we are in Hyperarousal where we are easily startled, panicked, and obsessive. We are outside of the safe zone and again, our bodies tell us something is not right.
These could be times we reach for coffee or alcohol to "fix" it. We may reach for food, a screen, gambling or shopping too.