Clever Meditation, Yoga & Pranayama Tips for Busy People – Part 1
Most of us live very busy and hectic lives. If you are married, have children, have a job, you are going to be busy and even if you don’t have all these commitments, you are probably busy nonetheless. Throw in other activities you may be participating in, such as higher education & training, a fitness routine, other hobbies & interests, sports, blogging etc., and 24 hours starts to seem like awfully little time per day. Unfortunately, what seems to often get sacrificed in keeping up with the rat race is the one thing that should not, your daily spiritual practice. So in this series I will give some handy tips on how you can get more Yoga and Meditation practice into your busy lives by doing some clever multitasking.
Of the many many yoga pranayama breathing exercises there are, I think the following 2 stand apart: Breath of Fire Yoga Pranayama & Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama. These 2 pranayamas have an encyclopedic list of benefits and what’s best about them is that they are both simple to do and easy to incorporate into your daily life… specially when you are driving!
Yes that’s right… driving. Obviously DO NOT do these breathing exercises if it at all affects your driving, but, generally speaking since driving is mostly automatic for most of us, it provides the perfect opportunity for getting in some additional spiritual work.
A car really is pretty conducive for such pranayama practice. You are already sitting up, so just straighten your spine (use a lumbar cushion if you need to), you have music available so put on some inspirational tunes, you have a clock to time yourself and you even have a fan to stay cool. What more can you ask for? If you have family in the car with you, great, you can all practice together… why not :-). Both Breath of Fire pranayama and Kapalbhati pranayama breathing exercises that activate energy pathways within you and increase your energy, so there is no risk of them making you sleepy or drowsy. Really, no significant modification is needed to practice either pranayama while driving so take advantage of this time and give it a try.
If there are other pranayama exercises you are doing, they too might be suitable to do while driving. So be creative and see if driving is conducive to incorporating them. In the next part of this series I will share more multi tasking tips to help you meet your Daily Yoga & Meditation Practice. Till then keep breathing!
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The articles at the site are teally very good. It will help the humanity in large.Visit http://www.atmabodh.net for nice articles on Meditaiion, Pranayama, Agnihotra etc. for practical dimension on pranayama and meditation.
Breath of Fire takes a bit of practice. My senior students, who don’t have my proximity blindness yet, advise other students to practice it daily for a few minutes to help get it down.
Always glad to inspire and always looking forward to your blog posts.
I’ll have to give these a try. I just now tried the Breath of Fire and it was more challenging than I thought it would be to maintain a consistent rhythmic pace.
When I was studying at the Berkeley Psychic Institute, I really liked how their meditation techniques were focused on “real” life… not some thing that people have to sit down for 30 minutes in silence for, but the kinds of things that people can do while driving.
Practically, anytime we can provide people an opportunity for self-growth while multitasking something they’re already doing, there’s a greater potential to impact their lives positively.
You’ve now inspired my next blog post! Thanks, Anmol :)
Yup shower is a chance to get in some more spiritual work or other activity perhaps ;-). In any case, I prefer doing the stretching in the heat (as I indicated in part 2 of this series Clever Yoga Tips Part 2) rather than pranayama, although I have done Sheetali Pranayama in the shower before.
You do have to watch out about overheating when doing Pranayama for sure.
Thanks for you contributions.
PS: I got the Subscribe to Comments working finally :-D.
After giving it a go… I can see that the hands-free alternate nostril breathing will take some time to master…
Another time-saving yoga device… practicing pranayama and meditation in the bath. Meditating in water adds a womb-like feel to the process… but I’m not sure about the combination of water and heat on pranayama…
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Great and very interesting blog!
You continue your unbeaten streak of mentioning exactly that which I left out of the article… its really getting kinda scary :-P. I was going to mention Alternate Nostril Pranayama, whose final mastery requires it to be done without the hands but instead with mental control of each nostril! But, I didn’t include it as this needs immense concentration and felt it might pose a risk when driving.
Thanks for your other suggestions and feedback.
This is a great tip Anmol!
I’d dearly love to be able to do alternate nostril breathing while driving, but of course the hand position required makes it impossible.
I do however practice Ujjayi breathing when I walk. i find it makes an enormous amount of difference to the way the walk feels, and I can feel my lungs expanding. After the walk, I find I can breath right up my spine – such a great feeling!
As for yoga, on days when I don’t do a ‘mat practice’, I do squeeze in postures here and then when I can – tadasana is great for waiting in queues, and forward bends are awesome while waiting for the jug to boil…