Quick Break with a Relaxation Meditation Technique

Here's a quick little relaxation meditation that's perfect for taking a break while working long hours. It takes about one minute total. Many thanks to Melissa Silversmith at Yoga with Melissa for this suggestion. Be sure to check out her blog post for the original meditation technique; I've modified it slightly below.

So here we go, very simple:

Close your eyes, center for a moment, then...

  • inhale normally, hold briefly, and exhale for about twice the length of your inhalation
  • inhale a little more slowly, hold briefly, and exhale for about twice the length of your inhalation
  • inhale a little more slowly than the last time, hold briefly, and exhale for about twice the length of your inhalation
That's it!

Darth Vader It Up a Bit!

To increase the effect, slow down the exhalation by using what I like to call Darth Vader breath. That is, you tighten the muscles of your larynx slightly in order to make that lovely Darth Vader sound. Very relaxing! (You didn't know old DV was just trying to relax, did you...? Just like your boss, who happens to make the same sort of sound while walking the corridors...)

One effect of exhaling like this is to allow you to not use the diaphragmatic muscles, instead just relaxing them completely, while the air comes out slowly because of the DV effect.

By the way, anyone know what the technical Sanskrit name for DV breath is? First one with the right answer gets a brand new light saber...

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