A Simple Breathing exercise to reduce stress

a simple breathing exercise to reduce stress

Stress and anxiety are everywhere. If they’re getting the best of you, you might want to hit the mat and give yoga a try. Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines physical poses, controlled breathing, and meditation or relaxation. Yogamay help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and lower your heart rate. Yoga helps you to access an inner strength that allows you to face the sometimes-overwhelming fears, frustrations, and challenges of everyday life.

Breathing to reduce stress:

Yoga has the answer. The diaphragm, the muscle that we use to breathe, mostly functions automatically, but we can also control our breathing when we want to (like holding our breath underwater). If we practice specific breathing patterns (called pranayama in yoga) we can slip ourselves into that “rest and digest” state and allow our minds and bodies to get some relief.

A Simple Breathing Practice

A simple way to harness the breath is to lie down, either on the floor or in bed, and close the eyes. Imagine the inside of your body like a balloon, and as you inhale, watch the breath expand the low belly, then up into the ribs and chest.

As you exhale, let all the breath come out as it wants. Release naturally. Imagine all the tension and stress leaving your body. Repeat this pattern for up to five minutes. If it’s hard to feel the different places where the breath moves, try gently placing one hand on your belly and one on your chest.

You can practice this relaxing breath at night before going to sleep and see what a difference it makes. You can try it at work if you ever feel overwhelmed. It’s also great to do first thing in the morning to energise you for the dayScreen Shot 2016-01-24 at 20.49.32