Updated: Apr 17, 2019
Breathing can and does have such a huge impact on the way we feel both physically and emotionally, and sometimes we aren’t aware of this, or the way we #breathe until we take a moment to STOP and BE AWARE. When we may feel there is too much going on at home, at work, we feel stressed, too tired, don’t feel like it- this is when we should STOP, go and take some time to ourselves to re- centre with a #yoga class, or a simple #mindful breathing exercise like the one below. Then go back to work, home life etc, feeling more #calm and present.
Just breathe- pretty simple right?...
Think of a time when you were really stressed or anxious- do you remember how this made you breathe?
Most likely fast, short breaths, almost like you were literally gasping for air. Not good for us physically or emotionally!
However, the same can be done when not in a Yoga class. Breathing into the shoulders only (which we tend to do in life and particularly when we feel stressed or anxious) allows us to only take short and sharp breaths, and doesn’t help to promote feelings of calm and relaxation in #mind and #body, but actually exacerbates the stress or anxiety we may be feeling.
If you feel overwhelmed, close the eyes or lower the gaze (to avoid distraction, and bring your #awareness to the breathing exercise). Take a few moments to listen and feel how your breathing is right now. Then start to focus on making your inhales and exhales deeper, then see if you can make the breaths a little longer and equal in length.
Visualise (and if it helps use the hands placed gently onto the stomach) the breath travelling all the way from the stomach, into the abdomen and rib cage as they expand, finally up into the chest- and then very slowly all the way back down to the stomach. This way of breathing helps to lower blood pressure and heart rate, allowing you to start to feel #calm and more relaxed, unlike shorter and quicker breaths.
Take around 5 minutes to practice this way of breathing, then open the eyes or lift the gaze slowly, and come back to where you were, feeling more relaxed and centred.
Being aware of how we breath, what situations may affect this, and how we can ourselves take some control over this is a really useful tool in everyday life. Taking time out and caring for ourselves physically and emotionally is so important, and we often need to do this when we are busiest and feel we “don’t have time to”.
Come along to a Yoga class for some YOU TIME- reclaim your breath and leave feeling more relaxed, calm and centered, ready for what life can sometimes throw at us!
Until next time...