I was thinking today about mindfulness, about how it can bring us closer to one another. Being mindful does not involve thinking about our actions, rather it only requires us to be present in all that we do. Having a mindful conversation with another allows both parties the opportunity to truly be heard and the privilege to truly hear. This sort of exchange fosters understanding and from understanding blossoms compassion. A compassionate world is the dwelling place of love.
Pranayama (breath work) practice builds mindfullness. A great and easy exercise to increase our ability to be present is Nadi Shodhan Pranayama (alternate nostril breathing). You many want to empty your nasal passages before beginning this exercise.
- Find a comfortable place to sit down, either cross legged on the floor with a cushion beneath your sit bones or on chair with feet flat on the floor.
- Take your right hand and place your first and middle fingers on the space between your eyebrows. Place your thumb gently over your right nostril and your ring/pinkie fingers gently over your left nostril.
- (Keep your mouth closed throughout this entire series.)
- While applying pressure to your left nostril, lift your thumb from the right nostril, inhale and exhale 5 times slowly.
- Then apply pressure to both nostrils and hold your breathe for 5 counts.
- Move on to the next side, apply pressure to your right nostril and release the pressure from your left, inhale and exhale 5 times.
- Close both nostrils and hold for 5 counts. Repeat on the right side.
- Do this 5 times on each side. When you are done, pause for a few moments and be.