Yogic Awareness: When we are scared the lungs get compacted and breathing is affected. When we wait for a situation to unfold in a horror film we hold the breath in fear and negative anticipation. Similarly in abusive situations also our breath is affected. This is different when we hold the breath in awareness during certain pranayamas. This version of the manmatha kriya can be easily practiced at office. When love is lost and you feel abused or hurt practicing the Kriya helps release the pain. The more we hold onto hurt the more we hurt.

The technique: Sit in vajrasana or on the chair. Hug yourself in the mid- chest area firmly. Breathe in to the count of 6 (or less if not possible) as though you are forcing free from any lower attachments. Relax and let the breath out for 6 counts and allow the higher ideals of love to flow into your life. Love and accept yourself for who you are. Repeat 6 times. Take a break shaking out your arms and then repeat 3-9 rounds.

Yogic Concept: Manmadha is our own Indian counterpart to “cupid” the god of love. Love can be binding when we get locked into unconscious patterns of behavior. This hurts and can also be frightening. Giving yourself space physically and emotionally helps in the healing. We open up the breathing in the Manmadha Kriya and thereby the vision of love. In yoga we usually don’t force but sometimes forcing the breath is necessary to shake us out of those patterns. We aspire to shake ourselves out of downward spiraling, suffocating love and open up to a more encompassing love. This creates more pathways for positive energy to flow in and the mind also interprets situations with a lot more compassion.