SAMAVRITTI: Breathing for Equanimity
Samavrtti is a simple yet powerful breathing practice. Sama is a Sanskrit word that means “same” or “equal.” Vritti means “fluctuation” or “movement.” Together, it is the “same movement” or “equal breathing” practice.
This mindful practice moves the breath efficiently throughout the body – releasing tension and stagnant energy, elevating the mood, boosting immunity, and allowing for clear thinking and wise response.
Samavritti is practiced simply through breathing in and out in equal counts with as much ease as possible. Start by breathing in for 4 counts then breathe out for 4 counts. After 3-5 cycles of this, you, the practitioner, may be ready to start holding the breath.
The equal holding of breath teaches you to observe the body and mind in the midst of tension, learning to stay disciplined and equanimous in every situation.
With breath retention, the cycle would start with an in-breath of 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, out-breath of 4 counts, hold for 4 counts. Try 3-5 cycles of this and end the practice with one full breath cycle without holds.
You may also hold breaths for 6 and 8 counts when you feel more at ease with the simple 4-counts.
NOTE: This practice is not suitable for pregnant women and those with prior conditions and sensitivities with their blood pressure, lungs, ears, and eyes.