Today I met with a patient of mine whom I had worked with previously. His hands were more rigid and extremely sore to the slightest touch than when I saw him last. He became anxious with the thought of exercise and told me that moving his hands made the pain much worse. I told him that not moving it would cause more of a long term problem causing even more pain. But he was fearful. I then told him to breathe. I said, "Relax your hand, close your eyes and just breathe." He relaxed just a little bit and breathed normally. I held his arm and wrist to allow his hands to gently relax and guided him into a focused deep breathing. Little by little his range of motion increased while his level of pain slightly decrease.
Our breathe can calm the toughest of fears and even ease some pain. Take time everyday to focus on your breath. Listen to what it is telling you. Feel where it is coming from and where it feels constricted. Breath is life. You control it.
Beginners Guide to Pranayama: Samavrtti
Begin by sitting with your legs stretched out in front of you and place a rolled up towel or blanket behind you, then lay down on the bolster as it supports your spine and opens up your chest. Place another folded blanket under your head and lay in Savasana (Corpse Pose). Close your eyes, relax your legs allowing your feet to fall to the side and rest your arms along your side with your palms facing up. Breathe naturally and just listen to your breath. After several moments of observing your breath, begin to guide your breath to a smooth and even pattern. This breath is called "Samavrtti", for example, inhale for 6 seconds and exhale for 6 second. Breathe from your diaphragm. Notice the rise and fall. Begin to notice yourself relax more deeply.
You have now practiced one of the many yoga breaths. Stay tuned for more!