Deep Relaxation Anywhere and Anytime! ~ Raymond L. Greenberg

Via elephant journal
on Jan 1, 2012
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With relaxation breath, my favorite pranayama, deep relaxation is always just a few minutes of breathing away.  There are no complicated hand gestures, the counts are simple and no one can tell you are doing it except you.  I’ve done it on line at the bank and at the grocery store.  I’ve been at it while employees were complaining about what a terrible boss I am and while my girlfriend’s child was going into the second half hour of a tantrum.  Each time, I found my growing anxiety and tension soothed away.

Image by mrhayata, licensed by Creative Commons.

My understanding is that my teacher Sri Yogi Dharma Mittra developed this practice so he could settle during his lunch hour without calling attention to himself. Since it is so versatile, effective and easy to do, it is the breathing exercise I teach the most and a practice I reach for regularly, when things get hectic and I feel my body tightening.

Here’s how: Come to a comfortable position, back straight, head erect, shoulders back and down. Inhale through the nose for 8 counts, hold for 4, exhale for 8. Repeat. That’s it. Within 6 cycles you will trigger your parasympathetic nervous system, slowing your heart rate, your metabolism and your mind. You will feel relaxed and energized and be happy to wait in line, take verbal abuse or be unaffected by any hostile enviroment for as long as you need to. This is a rare gem of an exercise since it is so simple, versatile and effective. In 8, hold 4, out 8, repeat. 2 minutes minimum is recommended (6-8 breaths). More will only make the relaxation deeper so feel free to keep going.

When you do this and have some positive experiences to share or any questions, I’d love to hear about it.

Photo credits: mrhayata, licensed by Creative Commons.

Ray has been a yoga practitioner since 1969.  An honors graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, his livelihood has been based on television production, art publishing and now yoga supply manufacturing and sales at Until 1997, Ray only shared his yoga practice with friends and relatives. Then he started teaching a class in his hometown of New Paltz,NY and soon after was offered the opportunity to participate in the inaugural teacher training program of well known master Sri Yogi Dharma Mittra. Ray recieved his certification and his Sanskrit name “Yogeshvara Om”, in September of 2000.
 In the lineage of Swami Gupta, our main credo is simply, “Be Nice.” According to Ray ” Through love and good intentions, discipline, hard work and faith, progress is assured.” More musings and yoga instruction like this can be found at Ray’s blog Everyday Yoga.




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3 Responses to “Deep Relaxation Anywhere and Anytime! ~ Raymond L. Greenberg”

  1. Dee says:

    Ray this is great! And there are many variations.

    Personally breath retention does not agree with me at all, with the exception of a very short hold after kapalabhati.

    I use deep slow abdominal breathing for the same purpose. I incorporate it into my day whenever needed and have been doing this for years.

    Slowing the breathing is one of the oldest and most powerful yoga practices.
    Lengthening the duration of the exhale on a ratio of 1 to 2 is also very effective to stimulate the relaxation response.

    Thanks for helping to spread the Gospel. Hallelujah! BTW is this a cure for road rage?

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