Posted by : Breathing Exercises
Category : The journey to HAPPINESS
As one enlightened yogi, Sri Swami Satchidananda said:
“Truth is One, Paths are Many.” (LOTUS, 2017)
When it comes to relaxation, all science points to the same thing – a calm mind will cultivate a healthy and happy body. This calm can be achieved by various means. What works for one won’t work for another, due to personal preferences and habits.
The most mobile, silent and effective technique for relaxation is deep breathing. Engaging in abdominal breathing for 20 to 30 minutes a day can help reduce stress and anxiety.
How does it work?
“Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness. Breathing techniques help you feel connected to your body—it brings your awareness away from the worries in your head and quiets your mind.” (AIS, 2012)
Not only is deep breathing easy to learn, but it becomes automatic with practice.
Here’s are the steps for Deep Breathing:
When breathing fast, a person activates their sympathetic nervous system, which is involved in the ‘fight or flight’ response, and thus signifies stress for the body. When breathing slow and deep, the parasympathetic system becomes active and calms the person down. (NPR, 2010)
With increased calm, breathing slows down, so the body consumes less oxygen and produces less carbon-dioxide. Moving away from stress and the ‘fight or flight’ response, helps the body to invest the saved energy towards digestion, self-healing, and regeneration. (Spire, 2015)
Other breathing techniques to try include:
This breath should be practised ten times a day and is helpful for moments of transition. Such as between projects, as it helps the body let go of stored tension.
This breathing takes about 90 seconds to complete. Within this time, the individual can notice the worrying thoughts, and begin to control and release them.
For those suffering from anxiety, and in need of immediate relief, here is a technique for you:
The 4-7-8 Breathing Technique
In moments of panic or shock, breathing becomes shallow, which results in a build-up of carbon dioxide, producing inflammation and acidification in the body. By slowing down the breath, holding it in, and then exhaling for a longer time, the individual can get rid of as much carbon dioxide as possible, and return the body to its equilibrium. (Gifford, 2014)"