Breath of Joy
This is a breathing exercise, but it is also movement in the Kripalu yoga tradition. I love this practice because it awakens the entire system as it moves energy throughout the body, uplifting mind, body, and spirit, and promoting a sense of calm and focus.
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To begin, stand with your feet shoulders’ width apart and knees slightly bent. Inhale partially and then swing your arms in front of your body, then over your head, making sure they are parallel to each other at shoulder level with the palms facing each other. Inhale more as you stretch your arms out to your sides at shoulder height, opening them as if they were your wings. Inhale to full lung capacity, swinging your arms back to parallel over your head with palms facing each other.
Open your mouth, letting out a loud and clear “haaa” as you exhale, as you bend your knees to sink into a standing squat, and swing your arms down and back behind you like a diver. Repeat this breath and movement cycle up to ten times. Enjoy the flow of the rhythm of this technique.
Once you have completed your final round, return to standing position and close your eyes. Notice the effect this movement has had on your body, paying special attention to your beating heart, and the other tingling sensations throughout your body. Notice how alive you are, and how joyful that is.