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Breathing exercises

Breathing exercises

Breathing is at the core of ancient (and currently trendy) mindfulness practices, from yoga and tai chi to meditation.

However, studies suggest that breathing exercises alone, derived from those ancient yoga practices, can be good for the body and mind. 

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Belief in the benefits of controlled breathing goes back centuries.

Central to ancient Hindu philosophy was prana, described as vital “airs” or “energies” flowing through the body. Stemming from that belief, yoga was built on pranayama or breath retention. 

Normal human breathing at rest should raise the belly, not the chest.

To relax during a particularly stressful moment, take three slow, deep belly breaths to interrupt the fight-or-flight response.

Breathing is the only autonomic system we can wrest control of.

Controlled breathing techniques can get one autonomic system under control and in turn affect others (like the heartbeat), alleviate momentary anxiety and longer-term emotional stress, and perhaps even improve physical and...

In the first half of the 20th century, deep breathing began to emerge on its own as a relaxation method.

Every relaxation, calming, or meditation technique relies on breathing, which may be the lowest common denominator in all the approaches to calming the body and mind.

It involves filling the lungs to the max and goes by various names like belly or diaphragmatic breathing.

It has been linked to improved cognitive performance, lower stress levels, and lower blood pressure.

  • Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down. 
  • Breathe in through your nose and fill your lungs from the bottom up, first expanding your belly, then your chest, and finally raising the collar bones. 
  • Pause. 
  • Then gently exhale from top to bottom, using your stomach mus...

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How it’s done:  Inhale for a count of 4, then exhale for a count of 4, all through the nose, which adds a natural resistance to the breath. Once you manage it, you can go up to a count of 6.

It calm the nervous system, increase focus and reduce stress.

When it works best...

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Breathing: Need To Know

  • Respiration influences many of the processes in our body that have a direct impact on our physical and mental health. 
  • Each day, we take around 20,000 breaths.
  • With every inhalation, our heart rate speeds up, and with every exhalation, it slows down. 
  • The nervous syst...

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Breathing Techniques for Muscle Tension Relief

  1. Stand up straight and bend forward at the waist. Bend knees slightly, letting your arms hang limply, close to the floor.
  2. Inhale slowly and deeply, and return to a standing position by slowly rolling your body up, lifting your head last.
  3. Exhale slowly

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