Yoga breathing techniques, also known as Pranayamas, can be practiced not only in a yoga class but also during a meditation or your working day.
In the world of yoga, pranayama is the life force so learning how to control it is essential not only for practicing yoga but also for helping you in stressful situations.
These yoga breathing techniques can help calm the mind, which in turn will help if you are having a stressful time at work on in your personal life.
Yoga breathing can also be referred to deep breathing, diaphragmatic breathing, abdominal breathing, belly breathing or paced respiration. When you breathe deeply, you inhale through the nose and fill the lungs entirely and the lower belly should rise.
This type of breathing may seem unnatural and firstly for a very vain reason. Society deems a flat stomach the ideal look and so men and women have a habit of holding in their stomachs.
This will inevitably interfere with deep breathing and encourage the body instead to take shallow breaths. When you take shallow breaths, you limit the movement of your diaphragm and your lungs do not get the correct amount of oxygenated air.
This can lead to you feeling short of breath and anxious.
How to create a basic deep breathing practice:
- Lie on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Place your hand on your stomach and breath for a few minutes, pay attention to your breathing, how does it seem?
- Slowly begin to slow your breath down, making each breath calmer and more relaxed than the last
- Notice that as you inhale, your stomach rises and your abdomen contracts. Next, inhale try to expand the abdomen as fully as possible and on the exhale support how the diaphragm naturally moves. Try to practice this for at least 6 to 12 breaths.
Whilst this may sound like an easy and obvious technique, many people in a stressful lifestyle may find it very hard to try and control the breath. There are some really great phone apps that can aid this breathing technique if you are new to it.
There are a number of reasons to practice yoga breathing techniques other than helping with stress.
If you are able to practice regularly, it will significantly improve the quality of your breath.
It will also help unblock chakras allowing energy to flow freely throughout your body. When you have a strong pranayama, you will feel more enthusiastic, energetic and positive in general.
Finally, it will help harmonize your mind, body, and spirit, which makes you as a person physically, mentally and spiritually stronger.
Create a deep breathing routine:
- Find a space to sit or lie down where you feel comfortable and safe
- The key is to relax and not try too hard or it defeats the purpose of the exercise
- It’s also important to not be passive, you are undertaking this exercise for a reason so do focus on your breathing
- Try to practice this type of breathing at least twice a day at the same time
- Try to ensure your practice lasts for at least twenty minutes to gain the full benefits of controlled breath and decreasing your stress levels
By Holly W.