1. Begin in a comfortable seated position with the spine long. You can sit on the floor in a traditional meditation posture or in a chair.
2. Take a few moments to scan the body, the mind and the emotions, noticing what's present and allowing for any experience that you are having. After checking in, bring awareness to the breath and spend a few moments noticing where the breath is in the body, whether it is deep or shallow, and any other observations.
3. Maintaining a comfortable posture, start to smooth the flow of the breath. As you inhale count to five, allow for a natural, easy pause and then exhale for a count of five. Do this for a minute or more. There should be no strain, just gentle focus. If need be, shorten the duration of the breath until it feels comfortable to lengthen it to five seconds.
4. Using your right hand, bring the thumb to your right nostril, place the "peace fingers" (index and middle) at the point between the eyebrows and bring your ring finger to your left nostril with the pinky resting against the ring finger.
5. Close the right nostril with the thumb. Take five breaths in and out of the left nostril at a smooth and even pace. Close the right nostril and take five breaths in and out of the left nostril.
Practice adapted from Sarah Power's book, Insight Yoga.