The Breath--The Link Between Body and Mind
The breath is the bridge between the body and mind; as we inhale, we not only draw oxygen into our physical body, but prana, life energy, into our spiritual system.
Check out two of my favorite breathing techniques, with demonstration on YouTube by Swami Ram Dev, to harness the power of the breath to still the mind. (As usual, don’t strain yourself and consult your doctor if you have any conditions.)
1) Kapalbhati (“skull shining”) pranayama. One of the six ancient “shat karmas (six actions)” to purify the yogi. Sit comfortably straight and exhale air from your stomach through your nose in rhythmic spurts. The inhale happens naturally and isn’t done consciously; what’s important are the rhythmic expulsions.
2) Anulom Vilom (alternate nostril breathing) pranayama is another great, widely practiced pranayama, said to balance the two hemispheres of the brain.