New Year Effortless Practices of Self-Love By Erika Buenaflor

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Recharging, cleansing, and centering ourselves can be a five-minute a day practice, and what a way to start the day with a demonstration of self-love. As the ancient Mesoamerican knew (and many still do), sacred essence energy as our soul and its diverse expressions were manifest in the breath. Breath would be portrayed in ancient Maya artwork as precious animated beads of tiny flowers suspended in front of the noses and mouths of humans and supernatural beings. Breathwork practices were also known to help strengthen our connection and retrieve our soul pieces as sacred essence energy.

I will identify two simple breathwork practices that can help to give as an ideal energy boost for the morning, and keep us centered, focused, and grounded. In Curanderismo Soul Retrieval, I provide many other breathwork exercises, and accompanying mudras (hand postures), sound/toning, and acupressure point exercises that can be done in a matter of minutes, or you can gift yourself with a longer set. Whether it is five minutes or longer, it does not matter. The important part of this practice/discipline is gifting your spirit with a demonstration of self-love, and reaffirming that you are more than worth it!

First Breathwork Exercise: Cobra Pranayama Breathing: Start with Cobra Pranayama to charge the body with life-force energy, an ideal way to start the day

Cup your hands over your face. Place the index fingers on the temples and place pressure there. Place the pinky fingers at the bridge of the nose, and place pressure there. The index, middle, and ring fingers should be slightly above the eyebrows. The palms of the hands should be slightly under the nose. The temples and bridge of the nose are acupressure points that relieve most kinds of headaches, and help us to become more focused, centered, and grounded.

Keep your hands in the cobra position and take quick breaths in from the abdomen, while pushing in or contracting the abdomen. Bring the breath to your chest. Count to either 11, 22, or 33 while doing the Cobra Pranayama breathing. After you count to 11, 22, or 33, exhale out the mouth. (Refrain from exhaling while engaging in the quick inhales). Repeat this breathing exercise 3 times with the same set of counting to 11, 22, or 33.

Second Breathwork Exercise: Centering Breathwork, centering our energy within our heart and affirming our self-love

Cupping the hands over the face, take a big inhale, hold the breath, and release the breath while moving the hands down in prayer position towards the center of the chest, the heart chakra. When moving the hands to the chest, set the intention of balancing your energy and aligning it at and within the heart chakra, locating at the center of the chest.

After five minutes of these breathwork exercises, I recommend to also give yourself a limpia (shamanic cleanse) and spray yourself with a little Florida water, which you can buy or do an internet search for your own recipe. Florida water is a cleansing liquid that has either alcohol, spring, or blessed water as its base, and aromatic cleansing flowers and herbs. I put my Florida water in a little spritzer bottle and spray myself with it every day, and feel even more fantastic afterwards!

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