give yourself 5 more minutes.

Do you know that Jonas Brothers song, “5 more minutes?” (If you don’t regularly listen to teen pop music in the car with the windows down like I do, here’s a sneak peek of the song.)

Lately, it’s my theme song. I’m constantly pleading for “just 5 more minutes” to myself before engaging with other humans.

I’ve learned that the most effective thing I can do to prepare myself for a transition– from work to home, from relaxation to 100% attention, from solitude to group energy– is not actually from the Jonas Brothers (god bless their teenage energy), but is actually from the Yoga Tradition.

In the teachings of yoga, formal breathing exercises are highly regarded as effective tools for increasing mental, physical and emotional resiliency and clarity.

Breathing exercises are called “pranayama.” This the fourth aspect of the traditional eight aspects of yoga philosophy. You can read my detailed article pranayama teachings for more information.

One of my favorite pranayama techniques is called Anuloma Pranayama.

Anuloma Pranayama practice is a specific breathing technique that improves concentration, reduces stress and prepares you well for mental transitions.

In this technique you place the fingers of your right hand on the bridge of your nose to add slight pressure on the exhale, essentially directing the breath out through only one nostril.

The inhale is through both nostrils and the exhale is through only one nostril. Practice for five minutes and end with just a moment of stillness before moving on in your day.

Try Anuloma Breathing Here:

Five minutes can make a world of difference to your mental health (according to yoga and also to according to the Jonas Bros.)

Pranayama Practices

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