Books For Yoga Teachers in Training

Recommended by my yoga training centre:

key muscles of yoga

The Key Muscles of Yoga by Ray Long

What I love about this book is that it covers the scientific aspect of yoga, describes the key muscles of hatha yoga and how they are used in asana practise.


Yoga Journal Book

The Yoga Journal by Linda Sparrow

This book is more of an art book; a celebration of yoga and it’s beauty. It might not be as packed full of the how-to like some of the others, but for inspiration it can’t be beat.


Anatomy of Breathing

Anatomy of Breathing by Blandine Calais-Germain

This book explains the concepts of breathwork in yoga in a way that is easy to follow and points out some myths related to breathing. Calais-Germain has many other books I look forward to getting my paws on too.


Scaravelli

Awakening the Spine by Vanda Scaravelli

The legend that is Vanda is worth reading about alone, but this book really helps when I need a bit of inspiration and motivation to get on the mat.


30 poses30 Essential Poses by Judith Lasater

This book has great, practical guidance for modifying poses for beginners and more advanced students, a huge help for my teaching.


Other books I’ve picked up:

Light on Yoga

Light on Yoga: The Bible of Modern Yoga by B. K. S. Iyengar


Kundalini

Kundalini by Ajit Mookerjee

This book is an in depth look at kundalini energy, where it comes from, and how to stimulate it.


Writing Yoga

Writing Yoga by Bruce Black

I really enjoyed this book and the way Bruce demonstrated how to unite yoga and journalling – one of my favourite activities – in such an enlightening way.


Patanjali

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Based on the words of Patanjali back in the 3rd century BC, and one of the oldest spiritual texts in the world, this is not light reading! But this is the source, and it’s well worth getting a copy if you’re on your yogic journey.


What books on yoga do you recommend I check out?

Why I’m starting Yoga Teacher Training At 30

This wasn’t a new idea for me. I’d contemplated learning to teach yoga a few years back, but stopped myself when I remembered the idea of teaching anyone anything scared the living shish kebab out of me.

So I shelved my yoga teacher dreams, and went back to my solo practise.

Fast forward to May 2018, when I was in the Amazon, on a quest to see what I was really made of and what the plant kingdom (in the form of ayahuasca) had to show me.

This is where I had all the stereotypical realisations. I realised that yes, we are all connected. And yes, we are all love. And yes, there is something deeply wrong with living our lives through LCD screens.

I love what I do, really. I love reading, writing, podcasting and helping my community of creative introverts.

But the business I’ve built, in it’s current form, is inherently dependent on communication through my laptop. I occasionally run workshops in person, give talks to any audience who’ll have me, and I love podcasting because it gives me that extra bit of connection, through speech.

But beyond that, it’s all typed words and on-brand imagery. Perfect for the creative introvert in me, but limited in its ability to fulfil the bigger part of me… whatever that is.

All I know is there is some part of me (and you) that can only be nourished through human connection. In actual real life. In a setting conducive to connection, healing and growth.

Along with my discovery that I have a need to fulfil that can’t be met solely through my current service, I had a few more lightbulb moments that led me to taking the YTT plunge:

 

Surprising discovery #1: I really like teaching people things.

This was not the case when I first considered adding yoga teacher training to my career bow. However, since slowly dipping my toe in the waters of teaching, through The Creative Introvert’s online courses, as well as collaborating with local training businesses in Brighton, I learned that actually… I do really like playing teacher.

I really like getting to share what I’ve learned with fellow eager learners. I like seeing lightbulb moments when someone ‘gets it.’ I like answering questions – the tougher the better.

Could this love for teaching about marketing and podcasting and such, translate to the yoga mat? Well, it makes me curious to find out.

 

Surprising discovery #2: I really like being with people.

The introverted elephant in the room. Yes, I’ve made a business from ‘being’ an introvert. But does that mean I don’t like being with people? Heck no! It just means I need to manage my energy efficiently and create the right amount of balance between alone time and people time.

I’ve actually gotten quite good at making time for being alone, but I’m finding it harder to get quality time in a group of people who aren’t just there because we all happen to be on a pub on a Friday night. What I learned from my trip to Dreamglade in the Amazon, was that I thrive on smallish, quiet groups of like minds. Fellow seekers, looking to illuminate their worlds and the lives of others. That doesn’t drain my energy, that fills my energy cup right up.

So you might be thinking: “Cat. Why would you need to teach yoga – surely you can just go to more yoga classes if you want that group vibe more?”

In theory… but not in practise. For one, I find it difficult to keep myself accountable when it comes to group classes. It might be that part of me that gets socially anxious tends to give me excuses as to why I should just stay home and practise.

If I’m the teacher… I kind of have to show up.

I’m also quite picky about the way a group is facilitated. Going to classes that aren’t facilitated… to my liking… has only given me more impetus to create my own little group, a space which is tailored to those who do feel a bit socially anxious and struggle in group environments. A space that’s supportive, inclusive and welcoming.

I’m sure there are teachers out there who do that, but it doesn’t stop me from wanting to bring more of that into the world.

 

Surprising discovery #3: I might actually be able to do this.

That was a shocker. I actually learned this from speaking to the on-site yoga teacher at Dreamglade, the absolutely lovely Jess. She was sweet, encouraging and tremendously grounded. I asked her some questions about YTT, and she gave me some sage advice.

In talking to her more, the possibilities of actually making this a reality started to take flight. I also started to fantasise about what I could do with the teacher training in terms of travelling and having a portable skill that allows me to be of use in a way that doesn’t involve a fast wifi connection.

Jess also reassured me that I didn’t need to be able to kick up into a handstand right this second in order to teach others. I knew this from my teaching as The Creative Introvert – all I had to be was one step ahead to help someone else – but for some reason, I hadn’t applied this to yoga.

Oooh, I thought. I might actually be able to do this.

 

Surprising discovery #4: It’s actually quite affordable.

When I broke down the cost of training (from about £2000-£3000 for most schools near me) and thought about the time I was getting with my teachers, as well as the options I have afterwards in terms of running classes, workshops, offering online classes, retreats… the numbers started to work out.

No, I don’t think yoga teaching will add significantly to my income, but it’s a bloody nice sounding option. Especially if it means I can spend a bit less time looking at the laptop screen.

And with that – I should probably wrap this one up and get on the mat.

 


 

I’ll be starting my YTT200 in September 2018, and it lasts around 5 months – which I love, because I’m skeptical about month-long intensives (I don’t trust myself to learn anything that quickly, but more power to you if you can.)

I’ll be updated this blog with my experience, what I’m learning, what I’m struggling with (which, no doubt there’ll be plenty of!) and I’m more than happy to take any questions you might have, if you’re considering starting yoga teacher training.

A Meditation For Grumpy Hot-Heads

If you’ve experienced the heat wave that’s cooking us to crispy, frazzled human steaks, or can remember a summer so hot they were putting sunscreen on cows… You might have also experienced a mild rage that comes with it.

Well, at least that’s what this redheaded yogi suffers from. The heat is not my friend. I burn like a piece of dry wood, and I’m certain I sweat more than the average bear. Needless to say, you won’t get me singing the praises of hot yoga either.

Anyway, all of this general hot-and-botheredness did actually have some benefit: it reminded me about my very favourite form of seated meditation: metta, or loving-kindness meditation.

If you haven’t come across the term before, metta practice comes from the Theravada Buddhist tradition of meditating on unconditional love towards all beings. Easier said than done, right?

The idea is that in developing this kind of loving acceptance regardless of what he said or she did or who they are, we can break free from negative thought-patterns, as well as finding peace in difficult situations in which we would previously jump straight to toxic judgement.

It’s worth keeping in mind that metta practice is a practice: it takes time to develop. Don’t expect to immediately feel like the modern day Mother Teresa. Start small, and keep at it. What I find helpful is the fact that even in an individual session of metta practise, you’re guided through a process starting with the ‘easy to love’, moving to more ‘difficult’ people, finally extending your compassion to all beings.

Some days are easier than others. Some days I’m able to start with sending my love to myself, as many traditions will advise, other days I’m last on the list. Regardless, I always feel more open-hearted and care-free by the end of it.

PERFECT for this season of heat, high emotions and short-tempers.

Ready to practise?

 

A Loving-Kindness Meditation For Grumpy Hot-Heads

1) Sit comfortably in a quiet place. Ground yourself in your body, taking five or six conscious breaths to slow down and feel inside.

2) Bring to mind someone for whom you feel simple, uncomplicated affection—perhaps a friend, a childhood mentor, or your pet cat. Imagine that they’re here with you. You might feel a simple sense of affection, a warmth in your heart as you do this—or you might not feel much of anything. Doesn’t matter. Trust that your intention is doing the work for you.

3) Begin to repeat to yourself, one breath for each line:

 

May you be happy.
May you be well.
May you be safe.
May you be peaceful and at ease.

Silently recite the words on the inhale, sending out the energy of your well-wishes on the exhale to the person you’re focusing your attention on. Take your time with this, giving yourself the luxury of unhurried meditation. Sink into the warmth of this connection, perhaps feeling a sense of warmth within your chest or near your heart.

You can change the wording if you like, or tailor loving intentions for specific individuals: May you be at peace, for an anxious friend; May this hard time pass, for a loved one struggling with difficulties.

4) Next—or perhaps later, because you can do these in whatever order you choose – apply this to yourself. Sitting quietly, send yourself these same well-wishes, feeling the warmth of your compassionate heart radiating through your body. May I be happy. May I be well. May I be kind to myself. May I give myself what I need. If an internal voice rears up and says, “This is selfish!”, tell it calmly, “No, this is nurturing”. This can also be a nice one to do if you’re having a hard time falling asleep at night.

5) After working with these initial practices for a while, expand your loving kindness to more neutral subject—a social acquaintance, a store clerk, the woman the next car over on the freeway—again, sending them simple well-wishes on the breath. Eventually, you begin to cultivate metta for those with whom you’ve experienced conflict. Send them your well-wishes simply as a fellow human being: May you be happy. May you be well. May you be free from suffering.

6) Ultimately, you can expand your practice of sending loving-kindness to all beings, human, animal, plant, microscopic—to all beings in your family … neighborhood … town … state … country … world … universe … May we all be happy. May we all be well. May we all be free from suffering.

Note: If anger, grief, or sadness arise at any point during these practices, take it as a sign your heart is softening. You can rest in mindfulness with these feelings, or send them loving kindness and compassion through the same practice, directing these loving thoughts towards the part of you that is distressed.

 


So hopefully a bit of metta will go a long way in bringing a bit of peace into your life, even if you’re a sweaty, grumpy hot-head (like me.)


 

*Content in part based on Tara Brach’s amazing work

More Resources

Tara Brach, Radical Acceptance (and other books)

Stephen Levine, guided Meditations

Kristin Neff, guided meditations and exercises on self-compassion

How Yoga Changed Me

There are countless other newly indoctrinated yogis who have written their ‘how yoga changed me’ stories; claiming yoga saved their lives, how they were lost, now they are found since finding enlightenment in a strong camel pose.

My aim isn’t to convince you that yoga is a cure-all or a silver bullet – and I’d run far away from anyone who tells you it cured their cancer.

But what I might be able to offer, is encouragement to anyone who is feeling like their yoga practise is sub-par. For anyone who hasn’t experienced any life changing magic on the yoga mat, and who might even be thinking that this yoga thing isn’t for them.

I’m hoping I can give those people hope because I was one of those people who, after FIVE years of regular traditional practise (I say traditional, which is very different from deliberate practise) still had not found any of this yogic transformation that so many others claim to have experienced.

 

Traditional vs. Deliberate Practise

I should explain this difference between this traditional practise (which for sure is better than no practise) and what I believe was my more recent stint at deliberate practise. Deliberate practise is a term that spouted from the mouth of K. Anders Ericsson, a psychologist who studied top performers across many fields, from music to medical surgery, sports to software design.

You likely know what it is to learn, practise and master a skill, whether it was the piano, riding a bike, or using a piece of software.

You’ve probably also felt the frustration of not making much progress and the moment when you decide to power through… or simply stop practising altogether.

After a certain point, we don’t improve by just repeating a skill or task, even over a period of many years. That’s because once you reach a reasonable level of competence and are able to do what you need to do, the skill becomes automatic. At best, you’re maintaining your abilities, but not improving them.

That’s exactly what I had been doing with my yoga practise.

I figured I’d hit my wall, and that was it.

Until… I threw in the towel. I actually gave up all forms of exercise in a bout of frustration, early 2017. I decided I wasn’t making any progress in my fitness, strength or flexibility and my body would fluctuate from mildly injured to soft and bloated without any of the fun I used to experience of seeing new lines appear where there wasn’t before.

So I gave up. Classic Cat move. I’m not known for my persistence, but for my ‘try-anything-once’ (and usually, only once) attitude.

 

The wake-up call

In any good self-transformation story, we have our wake up call.

Mine came in the Amazon rainforest, no less. It was at a retreat centre, during a yoga class (I had not gone there to do yoga, but to drink ayahuasca, a mind-expanding plant medicine… another story for another day) and this one yoga class was enough to remind me: that thing, yoga? Which I used to love so much? It’s still here. It’s not going anywhere, and you can return to it if you choose.

In short, I missed it. It was like seeing an ex after a few years, and being delighted they’re still single.

When I got home, I committed to getting back on track with yoga, and every morning I would roll out the old mat and stick on some Adriene.

This time, it was different. Rather than go into autopilot, I had to start again, almost as a beginner.

I was weak as a kitten and as rigid as a creeky old chair. I had to be patient, and actually follow Adriene’s helpful alignment cues, rather than ignore her with a ‘get on with it!’ snap.

My practise was more deliberate now: I was genuinely consistent, doing my best to follow instruction and I was motivated by the dream of going back to that retreat centre one day and may be even… teaching a class myself.

 

How Yoga Changed Me

These are the changes, physical, mental and emotional, that I started to see within weeks of my renewed yoga practise:

 

1) I gained body consciousness

Note: this is very different from feeling self-conscious. I’ve always been someone who is very, very aware of my thoughts – distracting little buggers – but far less aware (sometimes bloody clueless) about my body.

It’s never really been something I inhabit. More like a distant machine that sometimes does what I want, sometimes doesn’t.

Through yoga, I started to become more able to feel aware of my physical being. I could lie in savasana and actually know what the teacher meant when she said ‘feel your hands from the inside out.’

It’s hard to describe the taste of ice cream to someone who’s never had it. Similarly, I’ll be that annoying person who drones on about embodiment like it’s something you can just experience if I tell you about my experience.

Sorry.

But what I will say is: stick with it.

Be open to the possibility that there are MORE sensations than you are currently experiencing (and I fully believe I’ve only started on my body-bonding journey, and have many more layers to peel back) and keep paying attention before, during and after yoga: what can I feel?

2) I chilled the f*ck out

Ooh this is a big one. I’ll admit this is something I’d experienced the first time I found yoga; it’s actually what led me to take up a more formal meditation practise, and ultimately dig myself out of a truly dark hole in my life in my early 20s.

But I was hardly zen, even after years of it. What I know now, is that if I’m feeling like a ball of stress and frustration and rage, I can change my mind by simply taking myself to the mat.

It isn’t instant, but if I stick with it, I can chill out, even just a bit, every single time. That’s a pretty awesome tool.

Plus, even if I’m not near a yoga mat, and find I’m about to fly off the handle, I’m much better at stopping myself, taking a good few deep breaths, and taking my rage down a peg or two.

It still happens of course, we lose our shit and say things we can only blame on our lesser selves (or hanger), but I can feel a noticeable difference when I have practise my yoga that morning vs. when I don’t.

 

3) I changed shape

Sure, the abdominal definition, slimmer arms and perkier butt are nice… but my favourite and most shocking change were… my toes.

Yes, my toes.

I’ve always had fairly good foot-confidence; while I’m not a fetishist, I’ve never been appalled by the sight of my own feet.

But in the past I’ve had some foot trouble: a tendency to over-supinate (I think) resulting in aches and pains from my feet up to my knees, to my hips and lower back. Not fun! I’ve been walking for nearly 30 years: you’d think I’d have nailed it by now…

It came as some relief to learn that walking correctly is actually challenge for most shoe-wearing humans, and that footwear that overly protects and cramps our feet aren’t doing us any favours.

If you’ve studied a little kid’s foot, you might have noticed there’s a notably different, more triangular shape to their feet. Their toes tend to be the widest point: splaying out at will, rather than bending into each other uncomfortably like so many of our tend to do.

Let’s get to the surprise.

One warm evening, I was curled up in bed watching a documentary, probably about yoga. I stuck my foot out from under the covers for a little airing and stretching and looking at it I was quite alarmed.

NONE of my toes were touching.

And I wasn’t flexing it; my foot was fully relaxed – feeling rather good actually.

Could it be that yoga was changing my foot shape?

Apparently this is a real side-effect of yoga, and one that can really improve balance and over all prevent foot pain.

Unsurprisingly, my foot pain hasn’t returned since my new spider-monkey-like toe changes.

 

4) I started moving differently

I’ve never been a particularly graceful type. I went to about three ballet classes as a little kid, before deciding that Saturday morning was better spent watching Rocko’s Modern Life. 

My posture has never been good, and sitting up straight with my shoulders back gave me an unnatural amount of pain, so… I stopped trying.

Until yoga cam and infiltrated my life.

Now I’m not saying I glide around like a supermodel – at 5’3″, I have a long way to go.

But it has helped me carry myself better: and by that I just mean I’m more aware of how I move and I find it easier (possibly due to more core strength and better balance) to simply walk down the street.

Whilst this doesn’t sound exactly life changing, and you probably wouldn’t notice if you saw me, but from inside: this is one of my biggest changes. How you move through life physically, I believe, reflects on how you move through life on an emotional and mental level too.

When I move smoothly and easily physically, I feel like I can handle what comes my way with more ease too.

Plus, I seem to be walking into stuff less too now.

 

5) I became more productive

This is one of the clear, measurable side effects I’ve found from practising more deliberately every day – often twice a day – and I imagine it could be extended to any positive habit you take up and stick to on the daily.

For me, yoga is something that marks the start of my day, and seems to really make a difference to how I approach the rest of my to-dos.

Taking that time for myself, time to check in on how I’m doing and not just jumping straight into other people’s agendas for me, seems to make me more able to show up a lot more enthusiastic and energised when it is time to start work.

I think the same would be the case if you started to meditate every morning or go for a run, but for me: yoga is the one thing that sticks, and which I can always look forward to, regardless of what I’ve got ahead of me.

 

How to Breathe (Or My First Yoga Lesson)

My First Yoga Lesson

What I remember of my first yoga lesson wasn’t the first time I raised my arse in downward dog, or falling asleep in corpse pose… it was learning how to breathe.

The teacher patiently blew our minds with the possibility that there was another way to breathe. That we, for 17 years, had spent our breaths on an arguably inferior method of oxygenating.

At first, the idea of breathing into my belly (or diaphragm) seemed simply that: just an idea. I couldn’t actually do it. I figured teacher was just a little batty from all that head-standing.

After some time, some persistence from teacher, and some imagination from her students… I got the hang of it.

Of course I’d be lying if I said I’m always super aware of my breath and have a rich, full breath at any time of day or night. Of course it takes a lot of reminders to myself that while I’m breathing enough to keep alive, my breathing could be deeper, slower and benefitting not just my body but my mind.

But over the past 13+ years, I’ve come to see my breath for what it is: an automated process that I can use, for free, as my all natural Prozac or stimulant. It’s pretty neat. And I have yoga to thank for that.

Pranayama? The History and the Science

I should probably explain a bit more about the place of the breath within the big fluffy blanket of yoga. In case you didn’t know, yoga isn’t just the moving; the chaturangas and downward dogs. Those postures (yoga asanas) are just one of eight ‘limbs’ of yoga, covered in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras—a foundation of classical yoga philosophy…. which I’ll cover in more depth soon.

For now, just note that controlled breathing, of pranayama, is another one of those limbs.

Prana = breath or life energy

Ayama = to stretch or expand

Combined, I suppose pranayama = to expand the breath of life.

Athletes and martial arts practitioners access the breath’s primal force by timing moments of exertion with forced exhalation. Yogis refine this by coordinating the rhythm of the breath with movements in the asanas, generally coupling inhalation with expansion and exhalation with deepening. Pranayama perfects this process.

~ Ray Long

Naturally, the questioner in me wondered why this breath stuff was so important. Sure, it felt mildly pleasant and relaxing – but does it really make a difference to my performance or life in general? So I did some research…

Fun with your autonomic nervous system

The autonomic nervous system (or ANS) controls our digestion, respiration, heart rate, immune function and excretion – the things we (hopefully) don’t have to consciously think about. Within the ANS are two distinct systems, known as the sympathetic nervous system (fight-or-flight response) and the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest).

Whilst we can’t consciously control other jobs of the ANS, respiration is one we can definitely work with – and because of that, we can play with our ability to hype ourselves up (fight-or-flight) or calm ourselves down (rest and digest). Neat, eh?

Fun with blood pressure

Alternate nostril breathing is one type of breath practise (oh yes, there are lots) which has been shown to have a significant effect on reducing blood pressure, as well as improving performance in speed and agility. Not bad for five minutes of sticking your fingers up your nose. [1]

Fun with brain wave activity

Another type of breathwork, brahmari, was studied to determine its effect on brain wave activity.

Eight participants practised brahmari for five to 10 minutes twice a day for four months. The research found that brahmari increased theta brain wave activity, which is normally exhibited during deep meditation. It also induced feelings of blissful thoughts and lowered stress. [2]

Fun with diabetes

Diaphragmatic breathing was found to significantly lower oxidative stress in diabetic patients by reducing body mass index, waist-hip ratio, fasting and post prandial plasma glucose, glycated hemoglobin, and improving antioxidant levels. This is meaningful because oxidative stress associated with hyperglycemia, which can lead to diabetes mellitus as well as conditions like atherosclerosis and neuropathy. [3]

There have been other studies, also showing the positive effects of breath practise on a wide range of ailments from chronic pain to gastrointestinal disorders as well as athletic performance.

Personally, I don’t need much convincing in this particular area, because I’ve felt the difference just a few deep breaths can make when I’m getting lost in my reactive mind.

Types of Breath Practise

This is where things get weird. Well, as weird as you want to make them. Some breath practises take quite a bit of… getting used to… and used to feeling and looking rather silly, in order to feel the full effects.

Some, you might try and never take to, others you’ll try once and be hooked on your first round of breath.

My advice: experiment! Be open to the wackier ones (I’ve surprised myself) and note that you can always try them again another time. Many of my experiences have been dependent on the teacher as well as the environment and my own present state of mind.

There are several more I won’t delve into today (you can check more out here) – I’m just going to include my top 3:

Ujayi Pranyama (Conquerer Breath)

Pronounced oo-jy (rhymes with pie)-ee

If you’ve heard someone (or yourself) make a hissing sound, kind of like what you hear when you hold a seashell up to your ear, when performing yogic postures, you’ve heard ujayi breathing.

When we breathe, the air passes through the nasal sinuses, which create a kind of force or turbulence, warming the air before it passes into the lower parts of the body.

The glottis is a muscular aperture that sits in our throat, regulating the flow of air into the lower respiratory tract. Normally we control the opening and closing of the glottis unconsciously but yogic breathing techniques like ujayi involve consciously regulating airflow through the glottis.

Our very attractive glottis

When we consciously restrict the amount of air passing through the glottis, we can raise the temperature of the air above normal. Neat, eh? Plus we hear our breath as a vibration, that can sound a bit like the sea waves, in my opinion.

This process of increasing heat and creating a sound with the air is known as ujayi breathing.

Example:

Nadi Shodhana (Channel-Cleaning Breath)

Pronounced nah-dee show-DAH-nah

nadi = channel
shodhana = cleaning, purifying

This is one breath practise that took me a while to enjoy, mostly because it takes a bit of co-ordination to get into. The idea here is to use your ring and thumb finger (in Mrigi Mudra) to open and close your nostrils alternately, taking in breath through one nostril at a time.

I know.

So your ring finger/pinky pair will close the left nostril, the thumb will close the right (unless you’re using your left hand). When you close a nostril, apply just enough pressure to block the opening, not so much that you interfere with the flow of breath through the open nostril.

Start by keeping the right nostril open, inhale, then close it, (optional: retain your breath for a beat) then open and exhale slowly through the left. Then, inhale through the left, sealing the right, pausing… and exhaling through the right, sealing the left.This is one cycle. Repeat 3 to 5 times, then release the hand mudra and go back to normal breathing.

… and enjoy having full use of your nostrils.

Example:

Finally, my favourite and most ridiculous…

Simhasana (Lion Pose)

Pronounced sim-HAHS-anna

simha = lion

No description here, just a video (this must be seen – and tried! – to be believed)

Well that’s it for today’s 101 on How to Breath (in case you weren’t sure…) and I hope it’s inspired you to give some breath practise a try.

  1. Telles S, Yadav A, Kumar N, Sharma S, Visweshwaraiah NK, Balkrishna A. Blood pressure and Purdue pegboard scores in individuals with hypertension after alternate nostril breathing, breath awareness, and no intervention. Med Sci Monit. 2013 Jan 21;19:61-6
  2. Vialatte FB, Bakardjian H, Prasad R, Cichocki A. EEG paroxysmal gamma waves during Bhramari Pranayama: a yoga breathing technique. Conscious Cogn. 2009 Dec;18(4):977-88