Breathing exercises are a very important part of yoga, but also a way to relieve stress. If you are tired, lacking strength or feeling overwhelmed by your daily responsibilities, check out how to improve the functioning of your body with proper breathing.
Breathing exercises – examples
Oxygen is the most important element for us, without which we cannot live. Unfortunately, according to doctors, we breathe too quickly and shallowly, so the body is not properly oxygenated. Breathing should be done through the diaphragm, because then we take in much more air. It is also important to hold air in our lungs. To learn how to breathe properly, be sure to check out the breathing exercises you can do while resting, but also while stretching.
- Inhale through your nose, exhale through your mouth
Calm nasal breathing can be deepened if you start exhaling air with your mouth. Sit comfortably and take a full inhale through your nose. Work your diaphragm – to check that your diaphragm is actually working, place a hand on your stomach. Count to 10 and inhale fully through your nose, then wait a few seconds and exhale slowly through your mouth. Your lips should be slightly clamped so that a slight swish comes out of them. Repeat the inhalation 10 times.
- Inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your nose
This exercise is deep breathing that we do automatically, without thinking about it. However, our daily inhalations are too shallow, and the breathing model presented in this article is to help us breathe consciously and fully. Take a deep breath in through your nose for about 10 seconds, and then hold the air in your lungs for a few seconds. Then exhale through your nose, which should be about 3 times shorter than your inhale. Breathe in and out for about 10 minutes.
- Inhale through your mouth and exhale through your nose
This way of breathing makes you take in much more air. Breathe in for about 10 seconds to fill your lungs and work your diaphragm. Breathe in through your mouth in a peck pattern. This allows you to take in more air. Then, lowering your diaphragm, exhale slowly through your nose.
- Inhaling with the mouth and exhaling with the lips
Take in air through your mouth, so that it is slightly open. Do not swallow; take in air slowly and steadily, so that it fills your lungs completely, while working your diaphragm. Then, hold it in your lungs and, narrowing your lips, let it out through your mouth as well.
Breathing exercises for stress
Breathing is not only a basic life function, but also a great way to relieve stress. The measured inhaling and exhaling of air should be conscious. In a stressful situation, the body releases adrenaline, which greatly speeds up and shallows the breath. This is biologically necessary – primitive man in a stressful situation had to flee from predators. In the modern world, when we do not have to fight for survival, stress has a mobilizing effect, but it can quickly lead to neurosis and even depression.
Breathing exercises for stress are performed in the same way as the above mentioned ways of breathing, except that we additionally try to relax the body with each exhalation. Breathing should be conscious and steady. In time, the adrenaline level will drop and we will feel great relief. Breathing exercises for stress can be done while sitting or lying down, with calming relaxation music playing. With each breath, try to think about relaxation rather than the responsibilities ahead of you.
Conscious breathing is also important when exercising. When stretching, remember to inhale before you bend and exhale while you bend. If you’re stretching your back by moving your torso toward one leg or the other, inhale steadily at first and then exhale as you deepen the movement. With aerobic exercise, we often get shortness of breath because our breathing is too shallow and our lungs don’t get enough oxygen. During your workout, too, try to hold air in your lungs and exhale through your mouth.
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