Most of us live very busy and hectic lives. If you are married, have children, have a job, you are going to be busy and even if you don’t have all these commitments, you are probably busy nonetheless. Throw in other activities you may be participating in, such as higher education, a fitness routine, other hobbies & interests, sports, blogging etc., and 24 hours starts to seem like awfully little time per day. Unfortunately, what seems to often get sacrificed in keeping up with the rat race is the one thing that should not, your daily spiritual practice. So in this article I will give some handy tips on how you can get more Yoga and Meditation practice into your busy lives by doing some clever multitasking.
Of the many yoga pranayama breathing exercises there are, I think the following 2 stand apart: Breath of Fire Yoga Pranayama & Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama. These 2 pranayamas have an encyclopedic list of benefits and what’s best about them is that they are both simple to do and easy to incorporate into your daily life, specially when you are driving!
Yes that’s right, driving. Obviously DO NOT do these breathing exercises if it at all affects your driving, but, generally speaking since driving is mostly automatic for most of us, it provides the perfect opportunity for getting in some additional spiritual work.
A car really is pretty conducive for such pranayama practice. You are already sitting up, so just straighten your spine (use a lumbar cushion if you need to), you have music available so put on some inspirational tunes, you have a clock to time yourself and you even have a fan to stay cool. What more can you ask for?
If you have family in the car with you, great, you can all practice together, why not :-). Both Breath of Fire pranayama and Kapalbhati pranayama are breathing exercises that activate energy pathways within you and increase your energy, so there is no risk of them making you sleepy or drowsy. Really, no significant modification is needed to practice either pranayama while driving so take advantage of this time and give it a try.
To practice Breath of Fire, begin to breathe rapidly through the nose putting equal emphasis on the inhalation and the exhalation. Allow the stomach and diaphragm to stay relaxed and simply pulse to the rhythm of the breath. It is important in breath of fire to not force the air in very deep, but instead keep it at the tip of nose and just breathe rapidly.
To practice Kapalbhati pranayama, again keep everything relaxed and simply expel the air forcefully through your nose, then allow the inhalation to take place as a simple passive recoil. As you exhale forcefully, pull your abdominal muscles in towards your spine, and as you inhale just allow them to re-expand naturally.
If there are other pranayama exercises you are doing, they too might be suitable to do while driving. So be creative and see if driving is conducive to incorporating them. So as you are getting to your physical destination continue to make progress towards your spiritual destination as well.