Happy Diwali! By Chahna Tailor
Diwali, the Hindu New Year, is a time of renewal.
We want to bring in light, positivity, and kindness.
We want to remove darkness, negativity, and anything that drains our energy.
Darkness could be seen as external, but what about internal? Have you ever experienced intrusive thoughts? Intrusive thoughts are recurring thoughts that are unwanted and cause distress. They can lead you down a tunnel of darkness. When the darkness is in your mind, it can be very hard to escape.
Breathing is automatic for us. However, you can take advantage of manual, conscious breathing to take control of the present moment and learn to breathe with intention.
We can employ a pranayama technique as a way to still the mind so that it does not get carried away by the darkness.
A great pranayama technique is Ujjayi breathing. Also known as Life Extension Breathing, Ujjayi is the diaphragmatic breathing practice that is used while practicing yoga asana. It helps a yogi/yogini to focus in the moment and breathe through all of the mental or physical emotions and feelings that pop up when the body is required to maintain stillness in tough positions.
Here is the way to practice Ujjayi:
- Close your mouth and start to inhale and exhale through your nose.
- When taking/releasing a breath, constrict the throat so that each breath sounds like the ocean or the breathing of a scuba diver.
- Use your diaphragm to lead your breathing.
- Breath in and out as slowly as possible to control the airflow.
Ujjayi can be used for when a person is experiencing anxiety, depression, panic, high blood pressure, or an overall lack of balance of the nervous system.
This breathing technique can be practiced for as many rounds as you would like. The more breaths, the more replenishment of energy and renewal!
This Diwali… let us not succumb to thoughts that bring us down. Instead, let’s create space for positive energy.
This is a time for light, knowledge, and good to triumph over darkness, ignorance, and evil.
Take your time and breathe during this Diwali!
Chahna Tailor Gupta, an Ayurvedic Practitioner and certified yoga teacher, has a background in occupational therapy and health science with a focus in public health. Chahna was yoga trained in Rishikesh, India and had ayurvedic clinicals in Kannur, Kerala. Chahna provides yoga, pranayama, meditation, 200-hr yoga teacher training, and ayurvedic health counseling services through her company Namaskar To You. Chahna is a volunteer for Ekal Vidyalaya, American Association of Ayurvedic Professionals (AAAP), and Ayurveda Association of Florida (AAF). She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Ayurvedic Medicine while continuing her self-studies in yoga.