The more research into breath work I do, the more I realize how important it is. There are several techniques that you can do anytime during the day, not just during a meditation or yoga session. here are my favorites:
- One nostril breathing: Hold one nostril, breathe in through the other nostril and then release through the nostril you will holding. Do 5 for each nostril. I do this at the end of meditation and also at the beginning of vinyasa yoga!
- Breathe in for 4, hold for 4, breath out for 8: (I learned this via the Calm App and I love it while meditating). This method is really great, and I find it helpful for becoming incredibly aware of my own breath.
- 4, 7, 8 method: This method is known for helping you fall asleep very quickly, which is incredible especially if you struggle with insomnia. For 4-7-8 breathing, place the tip of your tongue behind your upper teeth. Inhale through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds and then exhale through your mouth for eight seconds. Repeat for at least three more times.
- Breath of Fire: This form of breathing is incredible for activating the symphatic nervous system. It is not the same as the other methods, as the other methods decrease cortisol and relax the body. To do this, hold your mouth open, and inhale and exhale as quickly as possible and physically push your stomach out on the exhale, and suck it back in on the inhale. To learn more: https://www.doyouyoga.com/how-to-practice-breath-of-fire-97945/
Breathing is incredibly important for your health and we don’t take enough time to do it. There are some days where at the end of the day I can’t stop yawning and I think to myself: did I even breathe today? I understand life can be incredibly busy sometimes, but you must remember to breath. It is the most basic function as humans that ironically enough, we don’t even make time for anymore.
Breathing steady breaths does the following:
- Calms your entire nervous system
- Increases immune function
- Helps you relax and focus
- Clears your mind
- Improved digestion
- Stimulates respiratory health
I learned a lot about what I know about breathing through listening to Ben Greenfield’s podcast and reading this blog post, so I highly recommend checking that out to learn more!