By Meera Patricia Kerr

Modeling can be stressful! We need to be beautiful, sexy, comfortable in our own skin, and radiant, even under challenging conditions. There are simple breathing practices that can be done anywhere that help you relax, lighten up, and get ready for the camera or runway!

If you’re on the set, find a cozy place where you can sit quietly for 5-10 minutes. (Or try to do it before you go to the set, so you won’t be disturbed) Close the eyes if it helps you focus. It’s important to be aware of the movement of the belly on each inhalation and exhalation. Imagine that with each inhale, you are filling up the belly, and you can observe it expand, like a balloon that’s being blown up. Then as you exhale, the belly collapses, and flattens out a little. At the end of the exhalation, you can even pull the belly in toward the spine, to get the sense of all the air being released out of the lungs. Then, automatically, the breath will want to rush in again, and you will notice the belly expand again. So try that for a few rounds, and make sure you have the hang of it. If you’re having trouble, try lying on the floor, or a bed, and place your hand on your abdomen, below the bellybutton. This may help you get a better sense of the wavelike motion of the in and out breaths.

Next, you’ll want to make the breath go into the cage area. Begin inhaling into the belly, then allow the breath to move up into the ribcage. Exhale from the ribcage, all the way to the bottom of the lungs, and begin a new inhale. Continue with that a few times, without controlling the breath, but observing its gentle flow.

After a few rounds of the two part breath, you’re ready to breathe all the way up to the top of the lungs, and then exhale from top to bottom. The collarbones will rise as you expand the breath into the upper part of the lungs, but try to keep the shoulders relaxed, without hunching them upwards. Repeat this three part breath for as long as you feel comfortable, even as long as 10 or 15 minutes. This type of breathing turns off the stress-response and turns on the relaxation response, giving you better focus and lighter mood. You will definitely feel a shift in your consciousness. Now you’re ready for the money shot!!

Meera Patricia Kerr ‘s groundbreaking DVD, Big Yoga Hatha 1 was the first DVD to bring Yoga to the plus-size population. Now she has a book, Big Yoga : A Simple Guide for Bigger Bodies, and a 2nd DVD, Big Yoga Flex-Ability.