Inhale, exhale. Inhale again, and exhale. Have you felt the change in your feelings? That’s how breathing is useful and a powerful tool that relieves stress and anxiety as our breath is deeply connected and rooted with our mind.
Think about how you breathe when you drift to sleep and when you wake up in the morning. How does it feel? Breathing exercises help you relax because they divert your body to its usual nourishing (self-healing) condition when you are relaxed. At times your mind might be racing with thoughts, and you only have to breathe deeply to get your mind relaxed. Here are three deep breathing exercises used by ancient Yogis and Rishis which are bound to work like a charm.
Your life is so busy that you can’t find some time to relax and unwind as you view the breathtaking sky over you and the clouds with their silver linings. You are stressed up, but you can do nothing about it! Actually, you can. Within your office or home space, you can detoxify, focus your energy, and attain a balance through Kapalbhati Pranayama. You can pronounce that again!
You may be familiar with yoga. If you don’t practice it, what are you waiting for? Kapalbhati Pranayama is of the breaths yogis do, and it’s one of the main aspects of the practice. “Kapal” and “Bhati” means “forehead” and “shining” respectively. “Pranayama” means breathing technique. In short, this technique is intended to make your mind brighter. It has incredible mental and physical benefits to your body too. However, pregnant women shouldn’t try it.
How It’s Done
Sit comfortably in an Easy Pose and lets your palms rest on your knees. Face upwards and focus on your being on the belly area. Inhale deeply, slowly, and steady and fill your lungs. Stay calm while concentrating on your breath when inhaling and exhaling.
Exhale rapidly, pull your stomach to the back and have your right hand on the navel to feel the contraction of your abdominal muscles. As you relax, you exhale and feel a hissing sound which is an indication that the bad energy/feeling is coming out. Inhale and exhale for 20-minutes; with a break of 1-minute after each 4-minutes.
Bhastrika Pranayama is another form of breathing in yoga but different from Kapalbhati. It involves the chest and engages the lungs. Both inhalation and exhalation are long, calm and slow. It’s beneficial to your body including brain oxygenation and boosting the nervous system.
Bhastrika should be done before Kapalhhati at the start of your practice. It’s beneficial in winter and spring. People with anxiety and depression can perform it during the summer. People with COPD can still perform this Pranayama, but they need their portable oxygen concentrator on their side.
How It’s Done
Sit in Lotus Pose and take a deep-long-slow breath filling your lungs, count to five and release the breath slowly. Start inhaling again as you mimic your panting. Do 21 rounds of inhalation and exhalation and take one-minute break.
Going straight to the definition, “Loma” means “with the grain” while “Viloma” means the opposite, “against the grain.” The practice helps us to balance Tri dosas which can cause illness to the body when not in balancing position. It’s also another yoga practice that you can perform to clear your head. It is to be done after Kapalbhati.
How it’s Done
To start, close your eyes and sit in Lotus Pose. Allow your hands to rest on your knees. Use your right hand’s right thumb to close the right nostril and inhale as much air as possible from left nostrils while blocking the right nostril and fill the lungs. Remove your right thumb as you exhale all the air from your right nostril but ensure your little & index finger is closing the left nostril as you exhale slowly. Repeat the process for 10-20 minutes with one-minute break between each 5-minutes. Remember to keep your focus on your breathing.
Stress and anxiety can make you sick. It’s also related to weight gain, something you cannot be happy about. Your body is usually at its weakest when you are going through stress. You may have no time to visit your psychologist or the other person that helps you get rid of stress, but the three deep breathing techniques above will serve you right. Inhale, exhale. Inhale again, forget your worries, and exhale.