“Gratitude is the first step away from fear. It is almost impossible to be trapped in fear if you are really experiencing gratitude”. Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, this month let’s practice a simple breathing technique called Gratitude Breath. It comes from one of my favorite Kundalini Yoga books, The Eight Human Talents, by Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa. There are few others things that can change our lives as quickly as gratitude and yogic breathing. Here we combine both for a powerful energy shift toward positivity. You can sit down as a formal practice or use it anywhere, anytime – stuck in traffic, waiting in line, after hearing disturbing news, at thanksgiving dinner when your cousin is really annoying you. Even one round of this technique can help you anchor yourself in the present and focus on the blessings in the moment, rather than the irritations. Remember, we are responsible for our energy and nothing can trigger us unless we let it. This technique helps us orient our energy towards peace, patience, and presence anytime we need.
Come to sit in easy pose on the floor or in a straight-back chair with feet flat on the floor. Hands rest on the knees or thighs. Spine is straight. Neck is in line with spine, chin slightly tucked. Eyes are closed and rolled up between the brows at the third eye point to give the mind a point of focus. If you are feeling uncomfortable as you sit for this breath technique, try moving the spine before you come to your seated posture.
With gratitude breath, we’ll be using long deep breathing. Inhale comes all the way down into the belly, allowing it to rise and expand. Exhale as you pull the belly back toward the spine, expelling all air out of the lungs.
- Inhale through the nose.
- Exhale completely through the mouth.
- Inhale deeply and smoothly through the mouth.
- Exhale completely through the nose.
- Continue repeating this pattern for 1-5 minutes or count the breaths to help focus. Any amount of time will be of benefit.
This simple breath technique can help you overcome any animosity, and turn these emotions into compassion instead. Once finished, silently say “thank you” to the Universe for the multitude of blessings in your life. Or write one thing down for which you are grateful. Just one. As we start to notice all we have to be grateful for, more will show up for which to be grateful. Have a blessed month friends. I am grateful for you.