This is not an attempt to understand anything, just an attention to the sounds and silences of your breath.
Have you heard the song and silence of your breath? There is music inside your body. Yes, music.
Sit down and get ready for a musical performance. (You might read this first, then follow along.) Practice this exercise sitting comfortably in a chair or seated on the floor.
— Shut both eyes carefully with your index and middle fingers, using both hands, one for each eye.
— Close your mouth, cover your lips with your little fingers, and close both ears with your thumbs. (If you can't see or hear, that's the idea.) Don't close your nostrils completely, since you have to breathe!
— Allow your attention and energy to move within. When the outer senses are quiet, you can hear the sounds and silences of your inner life.
— So, what do you hear? Listen to the inner noises your body makes: the flow of your blood, the whoosh of your breath.
— Notice the melodies flowing inside your body. You are the maestro. You are guiding your awareness inside. This is not an attempt to understand anything, just a quiet attention to your self.
This practice, known as Sanmukhi Mudra, is one of the most important classical "pratyahara" techniques for withdrawing the senses. Do this for short periods of time, after pranayama or before you meditate, or when you wish to free yourself from the normal sensory bombardments, or for calming emotional and mental agitations and distractions.
Effects: Reducing, calming, settling.
Learn more and get my book "Emotional Yoga: How the Body Can Heal the Mind".
(Photo: Lois Greenfield)