I know, I know. “Petting” is an old fashioned term for fooling around with someone. But I’m talking about petting, like how you pet your dog or cat to soothe them.
It has occurred to me that we can use our breath to pet internal ourselves. I have always known that soft, gentle, smooth breathing calms the nervous system down. I was recently reading a description of ujjayi breathing at yinyoga.com, what they call Ocean Breathing.
As I very quietly and slowly drew in a breath, mouth open, and exhaled, mouth open, with that soft “haaaaaa” sound, I could feel the soothing “pet” of the breath slide through my nerves.
Try it for yourself. Slow, gentle mouth-open breathing with a soft sound. Do that until it is comfortable. Then maintain the sound but breathe with your mouth closed. Soft, smooth breath. It is very soothing.