Try these 8 Breathing Exercises below to help you relax, manage stress and live a healthy life!
The body needs fresh oxygen to function effectively. The best way to keep fresh oxygen flowing into the body is deep breathing but most of us only use the top third of our lungs. So by breathing in and allowing the abdomen to inflate, means as much fresh air as possible will fill your lungs.
These simple yet effective breathing exercises below will help guide and show you how simple it is to start using your full lung capacity and fill your body with oxygen.
The more oxygen you get in, the more tension and anxiety will decrease, the cause of possible anxiety does not go but once the tension is released and you are thinking clearer you will feel better able to cope with the core problem.
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This breathing exercise works anytime, any place but is really effective before bed. By concentrating on your breathing it will take your mind off of the competing thoughts in your head which can end up disturbing your sleep.
Try this simple but effective breathing exercise..
This same exercise can also be done lying flat on the floor and is more relaxing:
By concentrating on the breathing and feeling the breath bring fresh oxygen to the body will also allow the mind time to think of something other than the problems that are causing the stress.
A variation on the seated breathing exercise 2 above is to make a humming sound as you exhale, keep the sound going for as long as possible whilst the breath is being expelled from the body, pull the stomach muscles in so all the air is pushed out.
Relax just breathing normally for five breaths then repeat sequence for three minutes.
If you experience any light-headedness then stop the exercise.
This breathing exercise requires a greater concentration and is also a cleansing breath.
For the older person this exercise must be done seated to avoid hyperventilation.
Dr. Andrew Weil, a Harvard trained medical doctor believes that breathing can influence our thought processes including our moods.
He believes that by focusing on the breath you can move towards relaxation. His well known “Relaxing Breath, the 4 – 7 – 8 method” can promote better sleep.
This exercise is another form of Pranayama Breathing and if practiced before bed can aid a good nights sleep.
Dr. Weil believes that by holding the breath allows the oxygen to circulate through the body and produce a relaxing effect in the body.
With practice over time this should become more effective with sleep and dealing with anxiety and stress.
This is another Pranayama breathing exercise but is more powerful compared to other breathing exercises. Regular practice can promote the release of toxins from our bodies detoxifying the system and the obvious sign of a healthy body is a shining forehead.
Kapal Bhati Pranayama ( Shining Skull ) has an active exhalation by forcing the breath out through the mouth the abdominal muscles can be pulled in. The inhalation just happens as the tautness in the stomach is released. Keep your awareness on the outward breath.
Practice of this exercise should be done on an empty stomach. Women should not practice these breathing exercises during their menstrual cycle or during and shortly after pregnancy due to the strong abdominal squeeze.
Persons suffering with a slipped disc, epilepsy, hernia, fitted with a stent or pacemaker, recent abdominal surgery all should avoid this exercise without first consulting your GP.
If you suffer from hypertension or have heart problems then seek a yoga expert’s guidance before practicing this breathing exercise.
There are many benefits from the practice of this Pranayama , it can help with increasing the metabolism, useful for diabetes suffers as it stimulates the abdominal organs, improves blood circulation, improves the function of the digestive tract, energises the nervous system as well as calming the mind.
Breathing is a skill that we all need to learn and with practice it comes, if you use these breathing exercises combined with focusing on relaxing your tense muscles it will help diminish stress and anxiety.
If you find the breathing exercises above a little too challenging to start with there’s a really simple App for your phone called Breathing Zone There are no complicated settings and no difficult breathing patterns to master. All you need to do is breathe in and out according to the guide.
If you’d like to delve deeper and read more about this subject here’s links to couple of great books we recommend…
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