Yoga Breathing at Work
Whether you toil alone in a cubicle or interact with customers on a continual basis, everyone at work has to verbally communicate at some time or other. Even in these days of hiding behind emails and tweets, verbal communication and those who master it are assets to any organization. Here are some yoga breathing techniques to help enhance your verbal communication.
The first breathing exercise to try is traditional nose breathing. In this exercise, you simply inhale and exhale through the nose. Let’s try it now while you are reading:
- Let’s start with four counts. Inhale through the nose, counting slowly to four.
- Hold the breathe inside your body for two counts.
- Completely exhale through the nose for four counts.
How easy it that? You’ve just controlled your breathing! You thought about it (which is called being mindful) and you directed your breath. And though you don’t realize it, all these wonderful things are going on inside your body when you do that-like lowering your blood pressure and relaxing some muscles.
Another method of breathing in yoga is called the Ujjayi Breath. With this method, you breathe in through the nose and exhale through the throat, making a sound in the back of the throat. It produces a sound similar to an ocean wave or like Darth Vader in his big, black helmet. Usually this type of breathing is used when doing a strenuous pose or when you need a cleansing breath. Visualize your children tracking mud onto your nice clean kitchen floor that you just spent time sweeping, mopping and polishing and you get the idea. Practice your counting system, gradually increasing the amount of counts for inhalation, holding, and exhalation.
Is your boss giving you grief? Has a driver just cut you off or pulled another equally idiotic driving maneuver? Here’s the yogic breath for you!
- Start by rolling your tongue into a tube. Breathe through this tube and feel the cool, calming air.
- Move your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Open the lips and keep the teeth together. (Think insincere, phony smile).
- Now exhale through your clenched teeth, with an audible hissing sound. Exhale long and hard getting out all that built up tension and aggravation with your breath. Repeat. (See a short video on this one here.)