Shall we go for Cosmetic or Cosmic Procedures? Or both?
As I dare to put these, not so charming, photos of myself online, I realize how much I must care for you and your well-being. Believe me, it’s not easy to put these expression-less photos that look nothing like the cover of magazines, if you see what I mean! 😉
On Sunday, I was having a chat with a yogini friend over coffee. She has an amazing skin, she loves spending money on expensive creams and costly ‘Cosmetic procedures’ to look her absolute youngest. And she does, she looks amazing! She also loves yoga and knows the positive impact of breathing and meditation on her body. She did say, though, that she has difficulty disciplining herself to sit, meditate and breathe. I suddenly realized then, that the beauty industry has used the power of proof incredibly well. The proof is in the pudding. When the proof is seen, we are encouraged. When we don’t, we’re not! I told her I was going to do a before and after of breathing and meditation to show just how effective these natural ‘Cosmic procedures’ are. She couldn’t be more encouraging. So here it is:
This is me yesterday: The top photo is me after a long day in front of the computer and a walk, before sitting to meditate. Then I meditated for 20 minutes (bottom photo) by just sitting straight, letting gravity do its job which is pulling tension down to the ground. I also allowed my breathing to be tension free and natural. (more details below). Please note the complexion, the blood flow in my face, which indicates the tension around neck and shoulders and head has released and blood was able to flow more effectively in those region.
Note the complexion: more blood flow!
Before and after 20 mins meditation
Now a larger photo I took today. The intent isn’t to scare you (haha) but, to give you proof that meditation and breathing can act as mini shots of Botox (without the paralyzing effects). It reminds me of a speech I once gave about aging. The main message was: Aging is the accumulation of tension and tension is the natural residue of living. Although we can’t reverse the process of aging, we can certainly slow it down with regular release of tension.
You will see below the before and after of 20 mins meditation followed by 10 minutes equal ratio breathing 1:1 (6 breaths per minute)
Note less defined wrinkles between eyebrows, around eyes, nose and mouth
The darkness of the circles under my eye look lighter.
Can you see the rosy cheeks? (no blusher used, honest!)
Also corner of the lips are a tiny more smiley, a sign of tension is corner of the lips are drawn down!
I have to say, taking these photos has been great! Because, after years of practicing, I now have a proof for what I always felt inside. I think I should send this blog to all those who look really disappointed and upset when I say: It’s time to do meditate and do some breathing! Maybe they too, will be inspired and the look of utter boredom will vanish from their beautiful faces. Me hopes!
Would you like to give yourself a youth shot on a regular basis?
If so here is how:
10 minutes of Natural / Tension free breathing
Sit comfortably with a straight spine (chest not collapsed, upper belly able to move and not curved in, on your sitting bones). No need to sit cross legged, just make sure you’re comfortable.
Exhaling releasing and emptying head, neck, shoulders
Inhaling keeping a residue of the relaxed top of your body
Without getting in a tug of war with yourself, see if it’s possible not to lift the front of your chest as you inhale.
5 minutes of equal ratio breathing 1:1
Breathing out for however many seconds
Breathing in for the same amount of second
IMPORTANT. Try not to push in the breath when the body gets stiff and the breath stops moving. Keep on relaxing head, neck, shoulders.
You may start with 4 seconds exhales, 4 seconds inhale (or less or more). Ideally, and that may come with time, you want to do 5 seconds exhale, 5 seconds inhale. This will mean you’ll breath 6 breaths per minute which will do your body and minds lots of good. Watch the space for a video that is coming soon explaining it in more details!
If you need more encouragement and a sheet of practice to have at home, come along to our workshop Breath and Sound.
I would like to leave you with a quote from Mararishi Mahesh Yogi who initiated me to his meditation technique when I was 19 (well it wasn’t him but his designated teacher):
If you have time meditate twice a day for 20 minutes. If you don’t have time meditate 4 times!
I agree! The more we meditate, the more we get done with less time. We literally stretch time…Now, question is, how can I take a photo of that?!