Don’t Stop Breathing
Don’t Stop Breathing
Breathing is a necessity of life that usually occurs without much more thought than that. When we breathe in the air around us, our blood cells take in that oxygen and release carbon dioxide (which is a waste product that's carried back through your body and exhaled). Improper breathing habits can upset the oxygen/carbon exchange contributing to a rise in anxiety, panic attacks, fatigue, and any other physical and emotional disturbances we may experience
Breathing exercises can help you relax because they make your body feel like you are already relaxed. Deep breathing is one way, and we think the best at lowering stress in the body. When you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. The brain then sends this message to your body saying "Hey everyone, things are cool." The way you breathe can affect your whole body.
These breathing exercises are an excellent way to relax, reduce tension, and relieve stress. They are easy to learn, and you can do them whenever you want, and you don't need any special tools or equipment to do them.
Three Part Breathing is a beneficial breathing pattern that can help with insomnia, anxiety, stress, and frustrating situations in general. Three Part Breathing is slow, smooth, relaxing, and calms the mind and soothes the muscles.
To begin, start by placing one hand on your upper chest and the other on your navel. Inhale into your chest then your upper abdomen, and finally puff your belly out like a balloon. Slowly release the breath in the same way, smoothly exhaling the air from your stomach, then your upper abdomen, then your chest.
You may be familiar with this form of breathing if you have been to a Yoga class recently. It’s a beautiful breathing technique to raise your energy levels and increase alertness. Begin to Inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose, keeping your mouth closed but relaxed. Your breaths in and out should be equal in duration, but as short as possible. If you get shy easily, you may want to practice by yourself; this can be an intensely loud breathing exercise.
Try for three in-and-out breath cycles per second. This produces a quick movement of the diaphragm, suggesting a bellows. Breathe normally after each cycle. Do not do for more than 15 seconds on your first try. Each time you practice the Stimulating Breath, you can increase your time by five seconds or so, until you reach a full minute.
If done correctly, you will feel invigorated, similar to the heightened awareness you experience after a good workout. You should notice the effort of the Bellows breath at the back of the neck, the diaphragm, the chest, and the abdomen. Try this diaphragmatic breathing exercise the next time you need an energy boost and feel yourself reaching for a piece of candy.
One of the most used breathing technique out there and you may not even know that it is called Ujjayi. This technique is easy to perform by inhaling and exhaling through your nose. Exhale slowly through your nose while constricting the muscles in the back of your throat. Try to make each inhale last as long as the exhale, and if you’re doing it correctly, you should sound like waves in the ocean. One way to think of this is that the inhales are compared to the sound the ocean makes as the water is gathering up to form the wave, the exhales, make the sound of the waves crashing to the shore. Some people even compare Ujjayi breathing to Darth Vader from Star Wars.
Ujjayi is useful for settling agitation, calming the mind and the nervous system. It is especially useful for stress and balancing the mind.
Nadi Shodhana is also known as “alternate nostril breathing.” This is a simple breathing practice is a powerful technique that you can implement immediately, and it’s a great way to reset your mental state. I like to do this counting to 5, meaning that I start to inhale for a count of five, hold for five, exhale for five, hold for five.
To practice, alternate nostril breathing, sit comfortably and tall, with a straight spine.
Relax your left palm into your lap and bring your right hand just in front of your face and place your pointer finger and middle finger to rest between your eyebrows. The thumb and ring finger will rest on the side of your nostrils. Close your eyes and exhale all your breath through your nose. Close your right nostril with your right thumb and inhale through the left nostril slowly and steadily.
At the top of your inhale, close the left nostril with your ring finger, so both nostrils are held closed; hold your breath for a brief pause and open your right nostril and release the breath slowly through the right side; pause briefly at the bottom of the exhale and inhale through the right side slowly. At the top of the breath, hold both nostrils closed again for a few seconds and open your left nostril and release the breath slowly through the left side. Pause briefly at the bottom.
Repeat this practice for 5-10 cycles (inhale, right thumb, hold, ring finger hold is one complete cycle). One cycle should take you about 30-40 seconds, allow your mind to follow your inhales and exhales.
Lion's breath encourages an immediate release of air and gives you the opportunity to add a little silliness to your daily routine. This can be practiced first thing in the morning to warm you up and increase your energy.
To practice, Lion's Breath traditionally has folks kneeling with your butt resting on your feet. Inhale deeply through your nose, exhale forcefully through your mouth, making a "ha" sound. As you exhale, open your mouth wide and stick your tongue out as far out as possible towards your chin. You can try practicing this while rising your arms up over your head on the inhale and forming cactus arms with your exhale to accentuate the relieving effects. Returning to a neutral face, inhale. Repeat 4-6 times and have some fun.