8/100 ~ Fog-the-mirror breath (pranayama) ~ Having a sensation of fogging a mirror on our exhale helps us to control the flow of the breath and is also a great way to learn Ujjayi Pranayama (day 86). I lead this mirror breathing technique in my yoga classes when I notice a high level of energy or anxiousness in my students at the beginning of class.

Benefits: Learning to control the depth and duration of our breath has many benefits, including a more peaceful disposition, reduced anxiety, greater focus and mental clarity, improved immune system, stabilized blood pressure and heart rate…and the list goes on and on. (Refer to Day 1 of 100 Days of Yoga for basic breath details.)

How to: Sit or lie down in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Inhale slowly and deeply, then hold the breath in at the top for a second or two. Allow your jaw to relax and mouth to open as you slowly exhale as if you are fogging up a mirror. Go slow here! Extend your exhale like you are fogging up a really big mirror and have to cover every inch of it. When the lungs are completely empty, hold the breath out for a second or two before receiving your next deep inhale. Repeat the breath cycle 3-10 times and then allow the breath to be easy and natural. Notice and appreciate the difference in the way you feel.

A little extra: As you exhale to fog your imaginary mirror, notice (draw your awareness to) the way the throat closes just a little in order to slow the breath down.

Your turn: Tell me, when you see a mirror with a thick layer of fog, what shape do you naturally trace with your finger?

I always draw a heart.

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