Yoga Breathing Exercises for a Calmer You

Yoga breathing exercises are important in yoga philosophy.

Breathing is one of the most natural things. Being an automatic process for many, breathing becomes something that is done without thought or awareness.

But in yoga philosophy the breath is the master of the mind, and the mind is the master of the senses.

This life-giving element that we breathe in is known as prana or life-force.

By regulating breathing, you influence your mind and body.

However, most people are unaware of how they breathe!

When stressed or anxious you tend to breathe shallowly and rapidly from the chest and this further increases stress.

It creates an imbalance in the oxygen/carbon dioxide ratio that results in more stress and anxiety.

Yoga breathing restores optimal health and well-being by enabling you to breathe to your capacity.

The basis of breathing exercises is diaphragmatic breathing.

This abdominal breathing is an efficient breathing method that restores the oxygen/carbon balance.

There are a number of breathing exercises from yoga that reduce stress and are easy to learn. Some of these include:

Yoga breathing exercises for relaxation

Abdominal breathing exercise

Sit cross-legged on the floor or lie down on your back.

Slowly bring your attention to your breath as you relax.

You can choose to place one hand on the abdomen to feel the rise and fall with each breath or either let your hands rest by your side.

Breathe in through the nose and imagine your abdomen expanding and pushing down. Your chest should remain relatively still for this abdominal breathing.

As you exhale, feel the abdomen push down and in towards your spine.

Repeat this 10 times.

Complete yoga breathing exercise

Sit straight, stand, or lie down

Breathe into the lower lungs and expand the stomach from the bottom. Imagine filling the air from the bottom to the top of the lungs.

Once the bottom is filled, move to the middle and expand the lower ribs, then middle ribs and then upper ribs. Finally fill the upper part of your lungs.

Hold for no more than five seconds. Exhale slowly through your nose and contract your stomach muscles. As you exhale, imagine your body relaxing.

Breathe normally for one or two breaths and then repeat the complete breath.

Try to do this twice a day.

Search here for more breathing techniques

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