“Pranayama is the regulation of the prana (life force) and breath is the external manifestation of the prana (life force). By regulating the breath, we can gain mastery over the prana (life force)”.
– Swami Satchidananda
Have you ever noticed how you breathe when you feel relaxed? The next time you are relaxed, take a moment to notice how your body feels. From the moment you are born, there is one constant companion through the highs and lows of life – your breath. By using breathing exercises, we send a signal to our nervous system, the part of our body managing things like our heart rate and our stress response, that things are OK.
5 Benefits of Breathing Exercises
1. Long Deep Breathing Detoxifies and Releases Toxins: When you exhale air from your body you release carbon dioxide that has been passed through from your bloodstream into your lungs. Carbon dioxide is a natural waste of your body’s metabolism.
2. Deep breathing slows your heart rate: One of the best things you can do when scared or overwhelmed is to take a moment, close your eyes, and breathe.
3. Endorphins are released: Deep breathing triggers the release of endorphins, which improves feelings of well-being and provides pain relief.
4. Elevates Moods: Long deep breathing increases pleasure-inducing neurochemicals in the brain to elevate moods and combat physical pain.
5. Lowers Blood Pressure: As your muscles let go of tension, your blood vessels dilate and your blood pressure can return to a normal level.
5 Different Types of Breathing Exercises to Reduce Stress
1. Sama Vritti: Sama vritti is a basic technique that involves breathing through your nostrils. It can calm your mind in any situation. Balance can do a body good, beginning with the breath. To start, inhale for a count of four, then exhale for a count of four — all through the nose, which adds a natural resistance to the breath. breathing exercise, stress, 4-7-8, depression, abdominal breathing,
How To Do It: Breathe in slowly for 5 counts and breathe out for 5 counts.
2. Abdominal Breathing Technique: Belly breathing is a helpful exercise when anxiety and fear arise. This exercise allows the panic reaction to calm and helps you “reinhabit” your body.breathing exercise, stress, 4-7-8, depression, abdominal breathing,
How To Do It :
Lift your chest slightly to improve your posture
Now breath In by pushing your abdominal muscles OUT
Breath OUT by pulling or letting your abdominal muscles IN
Repeat with slow easy breaths in & out.
3. Breath counting: Breath Counting Meditation is a strength-building exercise for the mind. It cleanses away distracting thoughts and builds concentration power.
How To Do it: 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.
4. Ujjayi: Ujjayi Pranayama is also known as Ocean breath or Victorious breath, which clears toxins out of the bodily system. The practitioner takes in enough oxygen to build vital energy. breathing exercise, stress, 4-7-8, depression, abdominal breathing,
How To Do It: Sit in a comfortable yoga pose like Padmasana. Take a deep breath along with contraction of the throat which makes the breath long. The friction of air should be felt inside the throat when it is contracted and a hissing sound of breath is produced itself. Now exhale out very slowly. Repeat this process 10 times daily.
5. The 4-7-8 Technique: This is simple, takes hardly any time, and can be done anywhere in 3 steps.breathing exercise, stress, 4-7-8, depression, abdominal breathing,
Breathe in deeply through your nose for 4 seconds
Hold your breath for 7 seconds
Exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds
Breathing exercises help us more effectively inhale and exhale, using our diaphragm. By changing the way we breathe, we can better control our emotions. Take five minutes for yourself every morning for a little mindful breathing and see how that elevates your workout, reduces stress and helps you realign inside and out.