The root of yoga is ahimsa, meaning non-harm. In its broadest sense, it means letting go of anything which is worn out, useless, or just no longer helpful to you, e.g. old feelings, memories or habits that restrict and confine you. In this way you clear out the old to make room for something new and fresh to come in. Breathing is a perfect metaphor for this philosophy: you breathe in new, fresh air and breathe out old, stale air.

  • Lie on the back with the knees hip-width apart.
  • To breathe effectively, you need to release the neck. Clasp your hands behind your head and lift it off the floor. Slide your clasped hands slowly over the back of your head. When the hands reach the crown of the head, replace the back of the head carefully on the floor and place your hands down by your side.
  • Look up at the ceiling and open your eyes as wide as possible. Then looking down at the tip of your nose, slowly draw the eyelids down over your eyes.
  • Broaden out the shoulders and settle yourself into the floor. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth with a nice, long sigh. Continue inhaling and exhaling through the nose only.
  • Observe your breathing for a few moments. The next time you inhale, imagine a cool, blue stream entering the nostrils. As you exhale, see a warm, red stream leaving the nostrils. Feel that the cool, blue stream is providing you with energy, freshness, renewal. Feel that the warm, red air of exhalation is taking everything old, stale and toxic out of the body.
  • Continue breathing in this way for several breaths. Then return to your normal breathing and lie quietly for a few moments. Give yourself a stretch and return to sitting.
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