Meditation Frazzled Nerves? Try These 3 Breathing Practices for Cooling...

Frazzled Nerves? Try These 3 Breathing Practices for Cooling Off and Calming Down


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Your breath provides a window into your current energetic state: Shallow, labored breaths, like those you experience during a tough workout, indicate an activated, heated sympathetic nervous system (your fight-flight-freeze response). Deep, slow breaths, on the other hand—the kind you experience when you slip into Savasana or sit in meditation stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system response and ease you into a cooling “rest and digest’’ state. If the hot temperatures and pace of summer have left you feeling overheated and sluggish, these pranayama practices can function as tonics to invite calm and equilibrium.


Before You Start

Take a moment to check in with yourself. Sit in stillness and observe, without judgement, how each inhalation and exhalation feels. What sensations are you experiencing and which physical movements occur? Then, fully breathe in and out, allowing your body to completely exchange outgoing carbon dioxide with incoming refreshing oxygen. This anchors your focus to the present moment so you can receive the full benefits of these cooling pranayama practices that release excess heat, making them beneficial after an athletic asana practice or a challenging workout.

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