Feeling a bit anxious? Like you're not getting enough breath into your body?
This feeling isn't uncommon.
As humans in this modern life, we live fast and hard. We expect everything now, and whilst this is an amazing feat for humankind, our breath hasn't caught up.
If you're not breathing well enough, you might not be getting enough oxygen into the body, or releasing enough carbon dioxide. It all gets a bit technical from here and before we start a lecture on breathing anatomy, if you're feeling a bit breathless or groggy, try these simple techniques to bring a little breath back into the body.
A big breath out
Start here, with a big inhale through the nose, for about 3-4 seconds.
Then a long, slow exhale out the mouth. Aim for about 6 seconds. Don't try to lose all the air at once.
You can do this another 2-3 times if you like.
Simply breathing in and out
Now, we start to regulate the breath, by simply breathing in and out your nose.
In for a count of 3-4 seconds.
Our for a count of 3-4 seconds.
You can make each count longer if you like, just keep it even.
You might then start to introduce a tiny pause at the top and bottom of the breath. This is breath retention.
Aim for about 5-10 rounds.
For this practice, you might even like to place your hands on the sides of your low ribs and feel your rib cage and your diaphragm move with your breath.
Breathing into the diaphragm and exercising this muscle is a very important part of breathing well, detoxifying the body, and strengthening your digestive system.
Equal parts breath
This a great breath technique to feel into all sides of the body and the breath.
It begins to create expansion in the body while training the lungs to breathe longer, wider and deeper.
Breathing in through the nose for a count of 4 seconds.
Hold the top of the breath for a count of 4 seconds.
Breathe out through the nose for a count of 4 seconds.
Hold the bottom of the breath for a count of 4 seconds.
Again, you can make each count longer, or shorter, if you need, but be sure to keep it even across the board.
Aim for about 5-10 rounds.
4 7 8 Breath
This technique is a mix of retention and releasing as much carbon dioxide in the body. By releasing carbon dioxide, we begin to settle into the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for regulating your rest and digest system.. AKA softening the body rather than being alert.
This is a great practice to settle anxiety or drift off to sleep.
You might even like to try this one laying down.
Breathe in through the nose for a count of 4 seconds.
Hold the top of the breath for a count of 7 seconds.
Breathe out through the nose for a count of 8 seconds.
Repeat 5-10 times as needed.
All these practices are safe for all people to try.
If you are feeling any dizziness or discomfort, please stop and try again later, or speak with your health practitioner for further advice.
While these practices are safe for all, if you are new to these practices, they may feel strange in the body, so always come to your breath with a sense of compassion, enquiry and appreciation. You can always try again later!
If you're keen to learn a little more on breathing, our Radiant teacher, Nick Fischer, has created an in-depth two-part online series all about breath "A Short Course in Pranayama".
As a bonus just for you, to access this course for just $5, please use the code NICK$5 when checking out.