We all spend so many of our waking hours rushing around getting stressed about things we don’t like & attending to our endless lists of Things to Do – for the day, the week or even the year ahead.
I’d like to encourage you to always take a breath to keep calm when you feel stressed out. Learn to access your breath on International Calm Day to help you keep centred when facing life’s more challenging moments. Your breath can help you destress and calm your body and mind - and its empowering to know that your breath is always with you no matter where you go.
Entire books have been written on the benefits of correct breathing and the many techniques that have been passed on from ancient teachings. If you find this blog interesting I encourage you to explore a range of books written by yogi’s BKS Iyengar, Donna Fahri and a recent one by. For now, here is a calming breath exercise that I teach in my yoga classes at the beautiful Wylie's Baths in Coogee and its for you to try out at home, in the office or wherever you are.
CALMING BREATH EXERCISE
The calming breath exercise can be practiced both in sitting or lying position and is ideal for beginners. Below is my instruction on how to practice this breath exercise which is variation of the viloma breath which is a B.K.S Iyengar technique. In this breath exercise inhaling and exhaling is not a continuous process, but one that is interrupted by several pauses.
I will also be teaching this at my yoga & mindfulness retreat coming up this weekend and later this year - hope you can join me.
How to Practice The Calming Breath (Viloma) Exercise
- Lie flat on a yoga mat or sit straight on a chair. Close your eyes and be still for a minute.
- Breathe normally. Observe your breath.
- Take a deep breath and fill your lungs completely. Exhale completely.
- Now start with the interrupted inhalation. Inhale for 2-3 seconds through the upper chest, hold the breath for 2-3 seconds.
- Inhale into the middle chest expanding through the ribs for 2-3 seconds, and hold for 2-3 seconds,
- Inhale into the abdomen feeling the belly expand like a balloon until the lungs are completely full and pause 2-3 seconds.
Don’t strain yourself.
- Exhale a long slow breath out until the lungs feel completely empty.
- This completes one cycle of the calming breath.
- Repeat these steps for another 10-12 rounds 2-3 minutes before resting and returning to your natural breath.
- Observe how you feel calmer.
- It brings a feeling of ease and lightness to the body.
- It brings a feeling of calm and exhilaration.
- It rests the nerves and soothes the brain
If you want to try some excellent on-line Mindfulness Tools, download the "calm" app. and you can use their on-line resources for free on International Calm Day.