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Calm The Body & Mind With These Breathing Techniques

Calm The Body & Mind With These Breathing Techniques

Just taking a few minutes a day to focus on breath will not only calm the Body & Mind but will also revitalise the spirit.

Following are a few samples. Even if you feel you do not have the time available, try just 3 deep breaths while driving between home and work, shopping, kids and school for example.

Take 3 Deep, Long Inhales and Exhales while at the traffic lights or stop sign and this alone will take the edge off that feeling of NON-STOP!

If possible take some time for these wonderful breathing techniques. Perhaps they could be done with family, partner, children or friends. Think of this as a productive way of calming together.

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Examples Of Breathing Techniques To Cool & Calm The Body & Mind

1. Equal Breathing – Sama Vritti Pranayama

  • Calms and re-energises the body and focuses the mind.
  1. Sit in a comfortable, cross-legged position on the floor or a chair or up against a wall.
  2. Close your eyes and begin to notice your natural breath, not changing anything at first.
  3. Begin a slow count to four as you inhale. Then also count to four as you exhale. The exercise is to match the length of your inhale and exhale.
  4. You could experiment with changing the number you count to, but make sure your inhale and exhale stay the same length.
  5. Continue breathing this way for several minutes.

2. Alternate Nostril Breathing – Nadi Sodhana (This is one of the favourites with the kids in my school classes)

  • This breath is balancing, relaxing, and calming.
  1. Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position.
  2. Using your right hand, fold your index and middle fingers into your palm, leaving your thumb, ring finger, and little finger sticking up.
  3. Bring your thumb to the right side of your nose and your ring finger to the left side.
  4. Close off your right nostril with your thumb.
  5. Inhale through your left nostril.
  6. Close off your left nostril with your ring finger.
  7. Open and exhale through your right nostril.
  8. Inhale through your right nostril.
  9. Close off your right nostril with your thumb.
  10. Open and exhale through your left nostril.
  11. Inhale through your left nostril.
  12. Continue alternating 5 to 10 times. This can be counted by placing your thumb on each finger 1 or 2 times round.

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3. Cooling Breath. Shitali Pranayama

  • Tongue Roll. This breath cools the body so it is best done in hot weather or if you are doing intense exercise workouts
  1. Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position on the floor if possible or on a chair.
  2. Take two or three deep inhales and exhales through the nose to prepare.
  3. Roll the tongue, curling the sides in towards the centre to form a tube. Stick the end of the tongue out between your pursed lips. If you can’t roll your tongue, just hold the lips making a small “o” shape with the mouth.
  4. Inhale through the tube of the tongue.
  5. Exhale through the nose.
  6. Repeat 5-10 times as you feel the cooling effect

4. Ocean Breath – Ujjayi Pranayama

  • This breathing technique concentrates and directs the breath, giving particularly Yoga and Pilates practice extra power and focus.

If you have studied Yoga you will find this is most often used in association with the practice of Vinyasa style Yoga. Vinyasa yoga is breath-synchronized movement, and the breath used is Ujjayi breath. This best to learn while seated in a comfortable cross-legged position. When you feel confident, begin to use it during an exercise practice.

  1. Inhale and exhale deeply through the mouth.
  2. On the exhales, begin to tone the back of the throat, slightly constricting the passage of air. Imagine that you are fogging up a pair of glasses.
  3. Once you are comfortable with the exhale, begin to apply the same toning of the throat to the inhales. This is where the name of the breath comes from: it sounds like the ocean.
  4. When you are able to control the throat on both the inhale and the exhale, close the mouth and begin breathing through the nose. Continue applying the same toning to the throat that you did when the mouth was open. The breath will still make a loud noise coming in and out of the nose. This is Ujjayi breath.
  5. If used during Yoga exercise practice the inhale and exhale through your poses will give you an extra focus. The air that comes in through your constricted throat is a powerful, directed breath that you can send into different parts of your body as you need it.

I teach a variety of people from school children to older adults and I am often asked if I can do longer sessions of just breathing techniques, as no matter what age we are we live very full lives if we live in a city and the calmer we can be the more we can focus and be balanced in our daily lives.

Thank you for reading. I would love to hear if you use any of these techniques and what the response has been.

Written for YogaPilates Fusion® a registered exercise program designed by Jill Healy-Quintard for the ultimate Mind/Body/Balance Workout

jill@bodyandbalance.com.au www.bodyandbalance.com.au

 

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2 Responses to Calm The Body & Mind With These Breathing Techniques

  1. Hi there, everything is going well here and ofcourse every one is sharing information, that’s truly fine, keep up writing.

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