Golden Thread Breathing
With this breathing practice we lengthen the exhalation or the out-breath. This calms the nervous system thus calming the entire body and mind. It takes the ‘panic’ or the stress out of a difficult situation so this breathing technique is often used in labour. I find it helps me relax when facing those moments when life feels a little overwhelming.
Start your breathing practice in a loose comfortable, cross legged seated pose: sukasana, easy seated pose. Sit on a pillow, cushion, folded blanket or yoga block if you want to.
The breath work can also be done lying down as a relaxation practice or as an aid to falling asleep.
You will be breathing in your nose and out through your slightly parted lips. So open your mouth a tiny bit, just enough so a sliver of paper could fit between the lips, and relax the inside of your mouth and your jaw completely.
Inhale normally through your nose and exhale out your slightly parted lips. As the breath leaves the lips visualise a fine golden thread spinning out on the breath. Visualise the golden thread spinning out and away into the air around you, for as long as the breath will comfortably carry it. Let the focus of your attention remain really precise. Let it start at the exhale, on the lips, and then allow it to travel out into the air along your golden thread for as long as the breath, and your mind, can comfortably carry it.
Complete five to ten rounds of golden thread breathing and then return to your normal breath. Observe how you feel. Smile and acknowledge your own ability to calm yourself at will.