Table of contents:
- 1. Equal breathing (samavritti)
- 2. Breathing belly
- 3. Alternate breathing through the nostrils
- 4. Shining skull (kapalabhati)
- 5. Breathing 4-7-8
- 6. Focused breathing
- Bonus: breathing with progressive relaxation
2023 Author: Malcolm Clapton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-07-28 10:38
These simple techniques will restore mental balance, relax and help you fall asleep faster.
1. Equal breathing (samavritti)
Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight. Begin to inhale, silently counting to four, then pause briefly. Then exhale, also counting to four. Breathe through your nose all the time. If you want to complicate your practice, try counting to six or eight. Make sure that all three components (inhale, pause, exhale) are the same length.
When to do
Anywhere, anytime. This technique calms the nervous system and reduces stress. Try to practice it before going to bed. Especially if you are one of those who find it difficult to get rid of thoughts of work and problems in the evening. Practice will replace counting sheep and set you up for sleep.
2. Breathing belly
Sit in a comfortable position or lie on the floor. Place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest and take a deep breath through your nose. Make sure that the shoulders are relaxed, the chest does not expand, and the diaphragm works - the muscular septum that separates the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity. When you inhale, it contracts and falls, which makes the stomach protrude forward, and when you exhale, it rises and pushes the air out of the lungs.
As you inhale, inflate your belly, and as you exhale, pull it up to the spine. Try to take 6-10 slow breaths per minute. With this breathing, the body is better saturated with oxygen.
When to do
Before an exam, interview and in any stressful situation when you need to calm down quickly. If you want to feel the long-term effect, practice this breathing for 10 minutes every day. For example, right after waking up or in the evening before going to bed. This will have a positive effect on both the cardiovascular and digestive systems and overall mental health.
3. Alternate breathing through the nostrils
Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight. With the thumb of your right hand, pinch your right nostril and inhale deeply through your left. At the peak of inhalation, close the left nostril with your ring finger and exhale through the right. Try to fill and empty your lungs to the limit.
Do five of these cycles, then change your nostril. That is, inhale through the right and exhale through the left. Then take five breaths in and out through both nostrils. Take your time and do not strain, breathe relaxed.
When to do
When you need to focus quickly, cheer up and recharge. Yogis also believe that this practice develops a state of harmony in a person.
4. Shining skull (kapalabhati)
Inhale and then exhale sharply through the nose, engaging the lower abdomen - the muscles that form the front wall from the lower ribs to the pelvis. They should contract, and the stomach should move inward to the spine - due to this, exhalation will occur. Try to exhale the air in one stream. In this case, the diaphragm should be relaxed both during inhalation and exhalation.
Take 10 of these breaths in and out at a comfortable pace. If you feel dizzy in the process, then you are making too much effort. Take a break and relax.
Please note that this technique has contraindications: active menstruation, pregnancy, high blood pressure, heart problems.
When to do
The technique is great for waking up and clearing the mind. It is good to use it in the morning or before your workout. Moreover, the practice itself can be training. Since the abdominal part of the abdomen is actively involved with it, you will strengthen the abs.
5. Breathing 4-7-8
Get into a comfortable sitting or lying position, close your eyes if desired. Press the tip of your tongue against the palate, open your mouth slightly and exhale completely. Close your mouth and inhale through your nose for a count of four. Then count to seven while holding your breath. Then exhale slowly with a whistle for a count of eight. Repeat breathing 4-7-8 several times until you feel calm.
When to do
This technique is a good alternative to equal breathing. Practice it before bed to help you relax and fall asleep faster. According to the author of the technique, Andrew Weil, the technique will allow you to feel connected with the body, as well as distract from everyday thoughts that prevent you from falling asleep.
6. Focused breathing
Get into a comfortable lying position in a quiet, comfortable place. Take a deep, slow breath through your nose, concentrating on the sensations in the process. Feel the belly and rib cage rise. Imagine that the air you breathe is filled with peace and tranquility. Feel that they come to you with him.
Exhale slowly. Imagine that stress and tension leave you along with the air. On the next exhale, add a word to concentrate on - for example, "rest." Continue breathing in this rhythm for 10-20 minutes.
When to do
In stressful situations, as well as in the evening, to relieve tension and tune in to rest.
Bonus: breathing with progressive relaxation
Sit in a comfortable chair or lie down, close your eyes and breathe calmly and deeply. Begin in turn to strain and relax different muscle groups: hands and forearms, shoulders, face, neck, chest and diaphragm, back and abdomen, hips, legs, feet. Tense each zone for 5-10 seconds, relax - 15-20 seconds.
The technique helps you feel the difference between these two states, and with proper training, relax the desired muscles in which you feel tightness.
When to do
Before bed or when you just want to relax. The technique also comes in handy to get rid of anxiety.
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