Om Moment: Eight Easy Breaths Every Day

A few weeks ago in my yoga class, the instructor guided us through a breathing exercise done in sets of eight that she suggested we practice everyday. I'm sure I'm not the only one in the class who, despite the inevitable yoga ooginess that melts the brain after an hour or so of poses and stretches and meditations, involuntarily and immediately thought, "Everyday!?"

Without anyone saying that out loud, my instructor continued with one simple and striking question: "Who doesn't have time for eight good breaths a day?"

How can you argue with that? After all, I may not think I have the time, but still, I can lose myself for an hour on a favorite celebrity juice site or watching an irresistibly awful reality show. What I really need, though, is to take the time to breathe, even if it means a little less Li Lo and Brit.

Today, I am starting with just eight breaths. Because I am feeling a little A-studentish, I am making them deep inhales and slow exhales, counting on my fingers so I can concentrate on really filling my body with air and then extinguishing it, and I'm doing this before each meal.

Sure, that adds up to 24 good breaths and you should not feel obligated (that is, if you're on board here) to do all of that. Just do what your own inner A-student (or whatever she is) dictates.

Just try it once, now -- at your desk, in front of the microwave, in the car at a red light while the kids are screaming. Then do a quick check on how you feel. Did you miss out on glaring at the slow driver in front of you or those missed moments of concern about Owen Wilson? Or are you glad you grasped the moment to just breathe?

Have any Om Moments you'd like to share? Leave a comment and let us know what helps you get centered in the middle of your day.