Breathing meditation is a type of meditation in which you focus on your breathing. This technique has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety levels, not to mention the number of individuals who can benefit from deep breathing in the midst of an active day! In this article, we’ll be exploring the best breathing exercises that you can do to calm your mind and body.
What are the benefits of breathing exercises?
Breathing exercises can have many benefits, including reducing stress, improving sleep, and increasing energy levels. They can also help to improve circulation and respiratory function.
What are the different types?
There are many different types of breathing meditation exercises, each with its own unique benefits. Below, we have highlighted some of the most popular and effective techniques:
1. Wim Hof Breathing: This highly effective breathing exercise is based on a technique developed by Dutch “ iceman” Wim Hof. It involves taking deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth, while simultaneously contracting the stomach muscles. This helps to fill the lungs with more oxygen and increased blood flow to the brain, resulting in improved focus and concentration.
2. Box Breathing: Also known as “square” or “four-square” breathing, this simple yet powerful technique can be done anywhere, at any time. Simply inhale for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of four, then exhale for a count of four. Repeat this cycle for several minutes to help slow down the heart rate and nervous system, promoting a state of calm and relaxation.
3. Alternate Nostril Breathing: This ancient yogic breathing exercise helps to cleanse and purify the energy channels (nadis) in the body, promoting balance and harmony. To practice, sit comfortably with your spine
How can I practice breathing exercises throughout each day?
There are many opportunities during the day to practice your breathing exercises. Here are a few ideas:
– While waiting in line, take a few deep breaths
– During work or study breaks, close your eyes and breathe deeply for a minute or two
– When you wake up in the morning, spend a few minutes doing some deep breathing exercises before starting your day
– Before going to bed at night, do some relaxation breathing exercises to help you sleep
Five steps to really solidify and enjoy the benefits of a breathing meditation exercise session
1. Start by making yourself comfortable. You can sit in a chair with your feet planted firmly on the ground, or you can lie down on your back. If you’re sitting, make sure your spine is straight and your shoulders are relaxed. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
2. Once you’re relaxed, begin to focus on your breath. Feel the air as it enters and leaves your lungs. Count each inhale and exhale if it helps you to focus.
3. If your mind begins to wander, gently bring it back to your breath. Don’t worry if this happens – it’s normal! Just keep coming back to the present moment.
4. After a few minutes, start to lengthen your exhales so they are slightly longer than your inhales. This will help to further calm and relax your body and mind.
5. When you’re ready, slowly open your eyes and take a few deep breaths before getting up and going about your day.