Here is one of the world’s simplest and most effective methods for calming yourself down and making yourself feel stronger. It is based on an ancient Hindu technique that doesn’t need any special equipment–only your hands; you can do it anytime, anywhere.
If you feel anxious, weak, scattered, tense, or out of control, this will help you to feel more solid and grounded. This technique is especially helpful for people with breathing problems, but all of us will feel calmer and stronger when we try it. Annie and Cait were amazed by it. Maybe you will be, too:
1. Sit in a comfortable posture and begin to meditate on your breath. As you meditate, pay attention to how relatively deep or shallow your breathing is, but don’t try to change its movement.
2. Once you’re in touch with the movements of your breath, make a fist with each of your hands by closing your fingers loosely over your thumbs. Then–still watching your breath–squeeze your thumbs firmly with one steady pressure and hold it for a minute or so.
3. As soon as you squeeze your thumbs, your breathing will become markedly deeper and stronger. If you study the changes that take place in your feelings, you’ll discover that along with the new feelings of strength in your breathing, you also feel more solid and grounded in both your mind and your body.
4. The harder you squeeze your thumbs, the deeper your breathing will become and the more solid and strong you’ll feel at every level of being.
5. Release your thumbs and allow your breathing to return to its original state. Once you‘ve released the pressure on your thumbs, notice how relatively weak and shallow your “normal” way of breathing feels compared to the way it felt while you were squeezing your thumbs.
Adapted from The Miracle of the Breath, by Andy Caponigro (New World Library, 2005). Copyright (c) 2005 by Andy Caponigro. Reprinted by permission of New World Library.
Adapted from The Miracle of the Breath, by Andy Caponigro (New World Library, 2005).