Kind Karma Yoga. Butterfly Breath for Anxiety Relief.
Butterfly Breath is cooling, calming, restorative and healing, and is practiced during Awaken with Meditation and Rahini Yoga®. It's one of the main pranayamas, or breath exercises, included in the "Rahini Yoga®" teacher training courses. "Butterfly Breath," also known as Monarch Butterfly Breathing, incorporates breathwork, mental focus, visualization and energy awareness. It's also a breathing meditation to cultivate mindfulness. When creating Kind Karma®, we say this breath is an effective way to heal your mind and body, bring balance to your emotions, restore internal energies and realign your internal sacred geometry - the holistic language of the universe.
This Awaken with Meditation and Rahini Yoga® breathing exercise is part of Kind Karma's Mission Initiative called, "TALK": Teach All Loving Kindness. TALK is about teaching others how to connect with their own innate kindness and building a global community of Kind Karma Creators. TALK is a call-to-action and its aim is to teach people specific methods of how to choose kindness, self-healing and holistic harmony in their lives, and to spread this Kind Karma® to those with whom they share the world.
Cooling, Calming & Restorative
Posture for Butterfly Breath
Find a relaxed, comfortable position. You could be seated on a chair or on the floor on a cushion. When sitting in a chair, be sure your feet are flat on the floor.
To find your center of balance you can gently rock side to side or forward and backward until you find a sense of the middle of your posture.
Align your head, neck, and spine. Feel tall. Feel expanded. Feel Light.
As you lengthen your spine, soften your face and neck, and lower and relax your shoulders.
Spend some time softening your your hips (feel your hip creases relax), thighs and feet (if you need to, spread your toes out and release them several times until you feel your feet soften and relax).
The arms should hang effortlessly, with the hands resting in the lap or lightly on the knees. You can also place your hands in your favorite mudra.
Your eyes can be closed, slightly open or completely open, but should always remain fixed and not moving around (even when your eyes are closed)
Rahini Yoga® Tip: Make whatever modifications you need to feel steady, comfortable and supported in your seated posture. Tap into feelings of receptivity and lightness.
Rahini Yoga® Tip: To help with alignment, imagine a string attached from the center of the crown and you are gently being drawn upward.
Rahini Yoga® Tip: Let your body reflect your state of mind you are achieving during this breathing exercise.
Instructions for Butterfly Breath
Scan your body and release any tension you may feel. Your body scan can either begin at the top of your head or the tip of your toes. You’ll work down or up from there.
Curl up the sides of your tongue in a letter “u” shape and stick the tip outside your lips. Keep your lips and face as relaxed as possible.
With your tongue curled, visualize yourself as a butterfly landing on a flower ready to sip its nectar. Through your curled tongue imagine you are sipping the flower’s cool nectar (energy nourishment or prana), as if you were a butterfly using its long straw like structure, called a proboscis.
After completing the inhale, close your mouth and gently swallow the nectar. Try to visualize the nectar lowering down to a point 2 inches below the navel (Dantian). Try to collect the energy at this area of your body. Do not struggle of force the breath.
With the mouth still closed, softly place the tip of your tongue against the roof of the mouth (only if this is comfortable) and slowly exhale out of your nose releasing any impurities, stress, tension or worries.
Repeat Butterfly Breath: Curling the tongue and inhaling (sipping) the flower nectar (energy/prana) that provides the body with cool, soothing energy. As you swallow the nectar (energy/prana), feel it lower and collect below the navel where the body can easily access its nourishment. Again, exhale any impurities.
During each inhale feel cooler, calmer and energized; during each exhale feel purified, healed and reinvigorated.
Practice for 3 to 5 minutes, or as needed.
Rahini Yoga® Tip: Body scanning increases mindfulness.
"With your tongue curled, visualize yourself as a butterfly landing on a flower ready to sip its nectar. Through your curled tongue imagine you are sipping the flower’s cool nectar (energy nourishment; or prana), as if you were a butterfly using its long straw like structure, called a proboscis."
Have FUN visualizing the straw - shape, size & color!
How to End Butterfly Breath
Energetically massage your heart (refer to the photos).
Remain in a seated position, relax and either stack your hands in your lap, palms up, or lay your hands on your knees, palms down. Your eyes can be either open or closed.
Take a minute to enter into your present space - cooler, calmer and reenergized.
Energetically massaging your Heart Center.
Softly brush or "feather" your Heart Center as if you hands were the wings of a butterfly.
Your hands should not touch your body when you are energetically massaging your Heart Center.
"With butterfly breathing it takes some time (practice) to learn how to direct, consolidate and purify your energy."
Rahini Yoga® Tips
If you can not fold your tongue, purse your lips in a tiny “o” shape, like a reaching kiss. Be sure to relax your tongue.
Most butterflies have a very short lifespan, so take in each breath, or flower nectar (energy/prana), as if it were your last breath. Savor each breath. Savor each moment.
Color Healing or Therapy: Visualize the flower nectar as any color you feel comfortable with. Depending upon your intention, what you need or how you feel, the nectar might differ in color during each practice session.
Calms and steadies the mind and relaxes and soothes the nervous system.
Reduces stress, anxiety, worry and anxiousness.
Energizes and reinvigorates the body.
Stimulates your vagus nerve.
Stimulates energy points along the tongue, palate, lips and mouth.
Increases flow of energy throughout the entire body.
Detoxifies the body.
Helps to regulate the digestive system and reduces stomach acidity.
Controls hunger, thirst and cravings.
Cools the body and helps to balance pitta related conditions, such as hot flashes.
Helps to normalize blood pressure.
Butterfly Breath is an all-natural, medication-free way to treat insomnia.
Visualization is a powerful mind-body connection tool. In Rahini Yoga® or Awaken with Meditation, we teach visualization works best if you incorporate as many sensory details as possible.
Beneficial to practice before meditation or after yoga practice.
Respiratory disorders such as bronchitis.
Use caution with asthma.
Heart disease - do not retain or hold the breath.
Variation: Hands in Tattva Mudra
For a profound healing effect, practice Butterfly Breath with your hands in "Tattva Mudra" (refer to photo). This will balance the five elements, restoring harmony to your mind, body, emotions and spirit. Tattva Mudra also seals in the energy, so it can be contained and used for healing.
Touch the fingertips of both hands, together, at your Heart. "Tattva Mudra" regulates the five elements of your body and mind.
"Butterfly Breath is not 'Sitali Pranayama', a traditional yoga breathing practice. It differs in its intention, visualization, focus and therefore, manifestation. Specifically, 'Butterfly Breath' has a greater focus on energy awareness and anatomy, such as the Dantian and Microcosmic Orbit. Butterfly Breath is very much a qigong or neigong practice as it is a yoga breath, as it transforms and 'mixes' the energies of the human body - the Taoist art of internal alchemy." - Dean Telano
"Kind Karma A Global Movement of Inspiring Others to Create & Manifest Kindness"
This blog post is not a substitute for conventional medical diagnosis or treatment for any medical or psychological condition. It is not intended as a replacement or substitute for medical treatment from a health care provider for any medical or psychological condition, nor should it be used as such. For such issues, you should seek the proper treatment from a licensed physician or healthcare professional. Be sure to consult your physician before starting this or any other exercise program.
© 2019. All Rights Reserved. Dean Telano.