With exams round the corner, the anxiety and stress levels in students aggravate. The pressure of performance and the fear of unknown grips them often resulting in perpetual fatigue, sleeplessness and negative thinking. Simply put, there is imbalance in the body, which may not only effect performance but also manifest into disease. Stress, anxiety, fear etc. are all grosser feelings, resulting from an aggravated air element (vata) in the body. Below, detailed is a simple technique from Sanatan Kriya to normalise your system and also enhance performance.
A simple breathing technique, often called the natural way of breathing since that is how we breathed when we were babies, can be practiced any time of the day, in fact throughout the day.
An extremely potent purification technique, ujjai breathing instantly induces a state of balance in the body, eliminating the negative emotions of fear, anxiety, insecurity etc. and inducing peace and calm while simultaneously rejuvenating the body.
Sit in vajrasan. Keep your spine straight, and eyes closed. Become aware of your breath at the tip of the nostrils and watch the rhythmic pattern of the breath. As you inhale, inflate your stomach and as you exhale, contract it. With every breath, make your breath deeper and longer. As you get comfortable with this breathing pattern, introduce a slight hissing sound from the pit of the throat while exhaling. This is ujjai. Continue for as long as you are comfortable. When you open your eyes, look first at the centre of your palms, then your physical body and then anywhere else you may choose to look at.
In case of severe headache or extreme tension or inability to sleep, dip your feet in warm water. Add 2-3 drops of eucalyptus oil to the bath.
In case of anxiety and nervousness in the examination hall, touch your index finger to the base of the thumb and the little and ring fingers to the tip of the thumb to normalise the aggravated vata.
Always do ujjai in a well-ventilated place. If the area is polluted, avoid doing ujjai. Never do any pranayam sitting directly under a fan. Pregnant women and those with severe knee problems should not sit in vajrasan, they can sit in any comfortable posture instead.
Best of Luck!