forearm stretch

Photo: Brad Harris

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Forearm Crossed Breath

Inhale, lift your arms up alongside your ears. Exhale, bend your elbows and clasp your forearms on top of each other. Breathe here and imagine the inhaling breath going up your right arm, across your forearms, and the exhaling breath going down your left arm, and then to your center, for 3 breaths. Repeat in the other direction 3 times. If you have time—if not, then the next time—begin what is traditionally called kapalabhati. Inhale to a comfortable level. Begin short, sharp breaths out of the nose, where the inhale is simply a reaction to the exhale, as the diaphragm pumps on the abdominal wall. It should feel somewhere between sneezing and blowing your nose. (If you are pregnant, skip kapalabhati.) Keep this up for 1 minute, energizing your body with each pump.