Have you wondered why yoga, meditation, and relaxation techniques are always heavily dependent upon breathing exercises?
It is because mindful breathing exercise is one of the most potent ways that helps in calming both the mind and body. Meditation practitioners for thousands of years have believed that befriending one’s breathing abilities helps in providing numerous benefits to the practitioner.
Breath exercises not only help in regulating stress or anxiety and can prevent frequent emotional burnouts but can also help in combating several chronic ailments and also lessen the risk factors for such.
Follow the articles till the end as we include not only breath-holding exercises but also breathing techniques that can help you to improve your lung capacity to combat shortness of breath and also energize you simultaneously.
Benefits of breath exercises
We will be going to the breathing techniques in a minute, but before that let us look at some of the several benefits of these breath exercises
- Helps in calming the nervous system and therefore manages stress responses effectively.
- Improves sleep quality. For people suffering from snoring problems, practising these breathing exercises can be of great help.
- Breathing exercises help in increasing oxygen content to the brain and other organs and therefore helps in boosting focus and concentration.
- Manages pressure levels in the body, therefore, combating high blood pressure symptoms.
- Boosts the working capacity of the lungs. People suffering from conditions like asthma can especially benefit from these exercises.
- Enhances the working capacity of the brain.
- During the breathing exercises, the oxygen content is gradually increased in the body which in the long run helps in boosting the immune system and overall health.
Breath exercises to try!
1. Pursed-lip breathing
- Sit down comfortably and relax your neck and shoulder muscles.
- Now take a deep breath in and count till three. Keep your mouth closed while doing so
- Now purse your lips as if you are about to blow a candle.
- And exhale slowly through your pursed lips at the count of five
- Repeat it 10 times
2. Diaphragmatic breathing
- Lie down with your knees bent and head rested on a pillow
- You can also place a pillow under your knees for support.
- Now place one hand on the upper part of the chest and the other hand just below your rib cage, so that you can feel the movement of the rib cage
- Now take a deep breath through your nose. You would be able to feel the movement through your hand placed below the rib cage.
- Count till 4 and then exhale through your pursed lips.
- Make sure during the exercise, the hand placed on the upper part of your chest remains still.
3. Lion’s breath
- Sit down comfortably. You can either sit back on your heels or sit crossed legs.
- Place your palms against your knees and the fingers should be spread wide.
- Now take a deep breath in through your nose and keep your eyes wide open.
- Now at the same time, open your mouth and stick out your tongue, so that the tip of the tongue reaches down towards your chin.
- Now by contracting your throat muscles, exhale through your mouth making a long ha sound
- Repeat the technique 5-6 times.
4. Alternate nostril breathing
- Sit down in a meditation pose and relax all the muscles of the body.
- Now lift your right hand and use your right thumb to gently close your right nostril.
- While you do so, make sure that your first and middle fingers are pressed down your palm and the others remain extended.
- Take a deep breath in through your left nostril and close your left nostril with the help of your right hand’s ring and pinky fingers. Release your right thumb over your right nostril when you do so.
- Now exhale through the right nostril.
- For the next round, inhale through the right nostril and exhale through the left.
- This completes one cycle. Repeat the cycle five times.
- You can also alternate with your left hand. When you do so make sure then the sessions end in the right nostril.
5. Equal breathing
- Sit comfortably.
- Practice deep breathing through your nose.
- You can count so that your inhalation and exhalation are even in duration.
- You can also try to alternate your counting with a short phrase or a word.
- You can also pause after each inhale or exhale to make yourself comfortable in the exercise.
- Repeat this technique for at least 5 minutes.
6. Sitali breath
- Choose a comfortable position to sit
- Now stick out your tongue and curl it so that the outer edges are together.
- Some people cannot roll their tongue, so for them, you can pursue your lips.
- Now take a deep breath in through your mouth.
- Count till 5 and then exhale through your nose.
- Continue for 7 minutes.
Also read: Breathe Free & Stay Free: Life With Asthma
7. Deep breathing
- You can either stand or sit down straight for this exercise.
- Place your elbows a little backward so that your chest can be expanded.
- Now take a deep breath in through your nose.
- You will feel your chest expanding as you do so.
- Count till 7 and then slowly release the breath through your nose.
- Continue to do so for at least 5 minutes
8. Humming bee breath
- Choose a comfortable position for the exercise.
- Relax all your facial muscles and close your eyes.
- Now place your first fingers on the tragus cartilage which is the tiny flap that partially covers our ear canal.
- Now take a deep breath in.
- Count till 5 and then release your breath.
- Make sure your fingers are tightly pressed against the cartilage while you do so.
- And as you do so, by keeping your mouth closed, make a low humming sound like a bee.
- Continue the exercise for 5 minutes.
Now there you go some effective breathing exercises that can help you in improving your health in general. Include these in your daily exercise regime and bask in the magic that it provides.