Miss. Hillary Strain

Breathing

My mother is subscribed to a mailing list off of the Oprah Winfrey website, this past weekend when i was home she received an email about meditation. Well, mainly focused on breathing but it could involve meditation. There are different breathing techniques that can improve your health in general, i thought i would share them with you guys.  You can read more about the email here.  I’ve tried the last one and i got kind of light headed, so pre warning to not go for the amount it says if you attempt it!

Diaphragmatic Breathing

What it is: Breathing that involves expanding the belly, which gives the lungs room to take in more oxygen.
How it can help: Improves circulation; eases stress-related and anxiety disorders; speeds recovery from chemotherapy.
How to start:
1. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Place one hand just below your rib cage and the other on your upper chest.
2. Breathe in slowly through your nose so that your stomach pushes against your lower hand.
3. As you exhale through pursed lips, tighten your abs and let them fall inward. (Throughout inhalation and exhalation, the hand on your chest should remain as still as possible.) Do this exercise three times a day for five to ten minutes, then gradually increase that amount. With enough practice, you should begin to breathe this way automatically.

Alternate-Nostril Breathing

What it is: A yogic technique designed to promote relaxation.
How it can help: Reduces blood pressure; may have an anti-obesity effect; boosts cognitive function on spatial tasks.
How to start:
1. With your right thumb, close your right nostril and inhale slowly through your left nostril.
2. Now close your left nostril with your pinky and ring fingers, release your thumb, and exhale slowly through your right nostril.
3. Keep the right nostril open, inhale, then close it; open the left nostril, and exhale slowly through the left. That’s one round. Start with three rounds, and add a round each week until you are up to five. Then practice whenever you’re feeling stressed out.

The Bellows Breath

What it is: An exercise aimed at increasing alertness.
How it can help: Provides a boost in energy comparable to the high you feel after a workout.
How to start:
1. With your mouth closed, inhale and exhale quickly and evenly through your nose. Aim for three in-out cycles per second, but stop after 15 seconds on your first attempt.
2. Keep practicing, increasing your time by five seconds, until you reach a minute. When you feel your energy dipping, try this technique for 60 seconds.

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4 thoughts on “Breathing

  1. I like the alternate nostril breathing technique better. I almost passed out after trying the bellows breath haha.

  2. I also like the alternate nostril breathing the most. I had learned some of these techniques before, when I was a Drama student in high school. The teacher taught us how to slow our breathing in order to relax our nerves. This has come in handy many times in my life so far (job interviews, relaxing before presentations, etc.).

    I didn’t like the Bellows Breath either. Which one was your favourite?

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