This soothing breath practice (pranayama) relieves anxiety and promotes calmness and mental clarity.
Posture: Sit in an Easy Pose, with a light jalandhar bandh. Place the left hand on the center of the chest at the Heart Center. The palm is flat against the chest, and the fingers are parallel to the ground, pointing to the right.
Make Gyan Mudra with the right hand (touch the tip of the index [Jupiter] finger with the tip of the thumb). Raise the right hand up to the right side as if giving a pledge. The palm faces forward, the three fingers not in Gyan Mudra point up.
The elbow is relaxed near the side with the forearm perpendicular to the ground.
Eyes: Either close the eyes or look straight ahead with the eyes 1/10th open.
Breath: Inhale slowly and deeply through both nostrils. Then suspend the breath in and raise the chest. Retain it as long as possible. Then exhale smoothly, gradually, and completely. When the breath is totally out, lock the breath out for as long as possible.
Concentrate on the flow of the breath. Regulate each bit of the breath consciously.
To End: Inhale and exhale strongly 3 times. Relax.
The home of the subtle force of prana is in the lungs and heart. The left palm is placed at the natural home of prana and creates a deep stillness at that point. The right hand that brings you to action and analysis, is placed in a receptive, relaxed mudra in the position of peace.
This posture induces the feeling of calmness. It creates a still point for the prana at the Heart Center.
Emotionally, this meditation adds clear perception to your relationships with yourself and others. If you are upset at work or in a personal relationship, sit in this meditation for 3 to 15 minutes before deciding how to act. Then act with your full heart.
Physically, this meditation strengthens the lungs and heart.
This meditation is perfect for beginners. It opens awareness of the breath, and it conditions the lungs. When you hold the breath in or out for "as long as possible," you should not gasp or be under strain when you let the breath move again.
In a class try it for 3 minutes. If you have more time, try it for three periods of 3 minutes each, with one minute rest between them, for a total of 11 minutes. For an advanced practice of concentration and rejuvenation, build the meditation up to 31 minutes.
©The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan
This meditation can be found at the Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings.