It may sound an odd thing to discuss but considering we do it all day every day, wouldn't it be good if you knew how to get the most out of it? As such, learning how to do breathing exercises can really help you relax, because they make your body feel like it does when you are already relaxed. Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. This is because when you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. Joan is an amazing Yoga teacher and shares her amazing talents to give you 3 techniques to add to your arsenal, so you know how to deal with every situation, simply with a breath or two.
Yoga and meditation can help you to slow your breath and when you slow your breath down, you slow your thoughts down. Slowing the breath can also help to reduce stress and increase your immune system which is perfect in out current climate, when stress and boosting our immunity is key to having the best life we can.
Below are three simple breathing practices that can help you to feel relaxed, calm and happier in an uneasy environment.
Abdominal breathing can be really helpful to create a sense of calm before a stressful
event, like giving a presentation or sitting an exam. It can be done lying down or sitting up by
placing one hand on your chest and the other hand on your belly. Take a deep breath in throughyour nose and allow your diaphragm (at the bottom of your ribcage) to inflate with enough air to create a slight stretching sensation in your lungs, hold and slowly exhale. If you are not used to doing abdominal breathing, just keep practising as it will start to feel easier with practise.
Aim to take 6/10 deep, slow breaths per minute for 10 minutes each day to help reduce your heart rate and blood pressure. This is a great practice to do in bed when you wake up in the morning and before you go to sleep.
LEFT NOSTRIL BREATHING
Left nostril breathing activates the Ida nerve ending that relates to calmness and relaxation. Left nostril breathing is associated with the moon and yin energy, the feminine, giving and cooling. Close your right nostril with your right thumb, your other fingers are stretched straight up. Close your eyes and breathe long and deep only through your left nostril for five minutes to help calm you and lower your blood pressure.
Lion’s Breath can be helpful if you are feeling anxious. The facial expression you make can
help to release tension and relax you but it can also feel invigorating. Inhale through the nose and exhale making an ‘Ha’ sound. As you exhale, open your mouth as wide as possible and stickyour tongue out towards your chin. As you inhale, return to a neutral facial expression and repeat. This is fun to practice and can help to relieve a lot of tension in the jaw, face and upper body.
If you have any questions or would like any guidance on how to get your yoga and
meditation practice started, feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com
Joan Curran, R.G.N., BSc (Hons) Psychology, Human Potential Coach, Hatha, Kundalini,
iRest® Yoga Nidra Teacher, Roll Model® Method Practitioner and U.K. Athletics Leader in Running Fitness.