Featured, Fitness

Power of the Breath

January 8, 2015

Life is often stressful enough. Sometimes a glass of wine does the trick, or a bit of chocolate. But sometimes even that doesn’t do it. SO what can you do to relax?

Breathe…

Breathing not only helps you to calm your mind form your possibly hectic schedule or stressed out day, but for an expecting mum, it can help connect to your body and your baby.

Here are a few breathing exercises:

 Yogic Breathing:
  1. Sit cross-legged, back straight, chin parallel to the floor, shoulders relaxed. (if your back feels sore, or you need more support, sit in a well-supported chair or against a wall)
  2. Close your eyes and scan your body for any tension you may be holding.
  3. As you exhale, push the air out from your lower abdominal. Imagine fogging the mirror with your breath.
  4. Inhale-and hold for a 3-5 count.
  5. Exhale and release the breath.
  6. Inhale again, this time with your mouth closed, tongue relaxed, slowly fill your lungs with air.
  7. Exhale and release that breathe.
  8. Repeat for 10-12 times until you feel more relaxed.

Note: Your counts may be faster or slower depending upon your lung capacity.

 

Relaxation 1:
  1. Sit cross-legged, back straight, chin parallel to the floor, shoulders relaxed. (if your back feels sore, or you need more support, sit in a well-supported chair or against a wall)
  2. Inhale for 4 counts
  3. Hold for 1 count
  4. Exhale for 8 counts
  5. Hold for 4 counts.
  6. Repeat until you feel relaxed.
Relaxation 2:
  1. Sit cross-legged, back straight, chin parallel to the floor, shoulders relaxed. (if your back feels sore, or you need more support, sit in a well-supported chair or against a wall)
  2. Inhale for 6 counts
  3. Hold for 1 count
  4. Exhale for 10 counts
  5. Hold for 1 counts.
  6. Repeat until you feel relaxed.

 

Below are two yoga breathing techniques that help to balance you.

Balanced Breath 1:
  1. Sit cross-legged, back straight, chin parallel to the floor, shoulders relaxed. (if your back feels sore, or you need more support, sit in a well-supported chair or against a wall)
  2. Inhale for 8 counts
  3. Hold for 1 count
  4. Exhale for 8 counts
  5. Hold for 1 counts.
  6. Repeat for 10-12 times

 

Balanced Breath 2:
  1. Sit cross-legged, back straight, chin parallel to the floor, shoulders relaxed. (if your back feels sore, or you need more support, sit in a well-supported chair or against a wall)
  2. Inhale for 6 counts
  3. Hold for 2 count
  4. Exhale for 6 counts
  5. Hold for 2 counts.
  6. Repeat for 10-12 times

 

Below are two breathing techniques that will help energize you.

Energizing Breath 1:
  1. Sit cross-legged, back straight, chin parallel to the floor, shoulders relaxed. (if your back feels sore, or you need more support, sit in a well-supported chair or against a wall)
  2. Inhale for 6 counts
  3. Hold for 4 count
  4. Exhale for 6 counts
  5. Hold for 1 counts.
  6. Repeat for 10 times

 

Energizing Breath 2:
  1. Sit cross-legged, back straight, chin parallel to the floor, shoulders relaxed. (if your back feels sore, or you need more support, sit in a well-supported chair or against a wall)
  2. Inhale for 6 counts
  3. Hold for 6 count
  4. Exhale for 6 counts
  5. Hold for 1 counts.
  6. Repeat for 10 times

For another resource, I love this guided calming breathing technique from one of my teachers, Dr. Weil at Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Click here. 

 

 

 

 

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