Yoga For Stress: How Breathing Exercises Can Help

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Yoga these days is mostly explained by the beautiful contortions and shapes of yoga postures that make people excited.

They might also be the most photographed and followed one, but they are only one branch of the yoga that takes us on the holistic path. The other limb or part of yoga, i.e. breath control is of equal importance and beneficial for your mind and body.

In fact, people who are feeling the sudden pangs of stress and anxiety and are looking for some natural emotional and mental healing, there can be no better therapist than some simple breathing exercises. If you think you’re stressed, tensed, overworked, agitated or just not on the right shape of your mind, try these three amazingly simple breathing exercises to de-stress yourself.

Balanced Breathing (SamaVritti)

A little balance is all we could use to bring the balance back in life. Balanced breathing is the most basic breathing technique that is suitable for every beginner. You can perform this exercise anywhere at any time. The balanced breathing exercise will calm your body and will help in focusing your mind.

How To Do Balanced Breathing?

•    Sit cross legged in a comfortable position keeping your back straight. You can even lie down straight to do this.

•    Close your eyes and focus on your natural breathing pattern without changing anything.

•    Once you are comfortable in that position, start inhaling on the count of four and then exhaling on the count of four.

•    Make sure the length of your inhale and exhale remains same.

•    Keep increasing the number count with more practice.

•    Keep breathing this way for a few minutes or until you feel relaxed.

Abdominal Breathing (Adham Pranayama)

When we feel stressed out, our breathing tends to become very shallow. In that time, doing some abdominal breathing will calm you down, deepen your breaths and will also stabilize the mood.

How To Do Abdominal Breathing?

•    Lie down straight with both your hands placed on your belly.

•    Close your eyes and focus on your natural breathing pattern.

•    Once you get comfortable in that position and breathing, start bringing your focus to inhalation.

•    Guide as much of your breath as you can to your belly.

•    Feel your hands rising as your increasing the amount of breath reaching your belly.

•    Now exhale and feel how your belly is sinking back to the floor.

•    As you become comfortable, start making your breaths deeper and slower.

•    When practicing this, make sure only your belly is rising and not the chest.

•    Continue doing this for at least 5 to 10 minutes. Alternate Nostril Breathing (NadiShoddana) NadiShoddana or the alternate nostril breathing is said to be a cure for opening all the energy channels in the body. In yogic culture, it is also meant to bring balance to mind and calmness to the soul.

How To Do Alternate Nostril Breathing?

•    Sit in a comfortable and relaxed position while breathing easily and naturally.

•    After a few seconds, start pressing your right thumb against your right nostril and begin inhaling deeply using your left nostril.

•    Once you are done inhaling, close your left nostril with ring finger and exhale through the right nostril.

•    Keep doing this pattern of inhaling with right nostril and then exhaling with left nostril. •

Keep doing this alternatively for at least 3 to 5 minutes.

•    After finishing, take some time to let your breath return to a normal pattern.

Perform these simple breathing exercises at your convenience and keep your mind free from stress and anxiety as much as possible.

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