7 Breathing Techniques To Build Wellness Connections Between Your Mind, Body & Spirit
Breath Work Is all about how far inward you want to travel
It's one of the few practices spiritualists and scientists agree on. But can breath work really help to harmonise your mind, body & spirit? There's no doubt about it...
Breath work focuses the mind. Ushering your body back into alignment through rhythmic inhalations and exhalations. Which then helps the spirit regain equilibrium as your mind and body are in tune once more.
Breath work is perfectly natural, can offer transcendental experiences & is proving itself, time and again, to benefit our brain and hearts, reduce stress, help prevent insomnia, improve attention and offer those who suffer from anxiety and depression greater control over their emotions.
There's an astronomical number of techniques and exercises that focus on the breath. Each one hones in on facets of our wellbeing. A lot are easy to learn. You can practice most of them solo. So... where do you start?
Try one of the 7 breathing techniques we've gathered for you. Every one of them can help you anchor your mind, body & spirit. Any day, anywhere, any time...
1. Mantra Breathing
This method uses a mantra to help you focus on your breath. Find a mantra you can say to yourself in tune with the rhythm of your breath work. As you repeat it with each inhalation and exhalation, you become able to relax and meditate.
2. Square Breathing
This engages visualization to establish and maintain your attention. As you breathe in, picture one side of a square. Then rotate the square in your mind and focus in on the next side while you exhale. Repeat until you've imagined all four sides. And start a new square rotation again if you need another round.
3. Nostril Breathing
This approach is perfect for reducing disquiet and distress. As you breathe, close off one nostril. Inhale through the other. Take your time. Exhale. Switch nostrils — closing off the second while inhaling through the first. Repeat until you start to feel a wave of calm coming over you... then keep going for a few more rounds to truly swim in serenity.
4. Pranayama breathing
This purifying breath technique is practiced by yogis. Experts say using pranayama has the biological energy to purify 72,000 passages in the body — cleaning blood and clearing your respiratory system, which helps good clean oxygen travel to your heart and brain. Start by inhaling through your mouth. Hold your breath for a moment hen exhale swiftly through the nose.
5. 4,7,8 Method
Developed by Dr. Andrew Weil, this technique helps you doze off into the land of nod. It's easy: inhale to the count of four, hold your breath to the count of seven, and then exhale to the count of eight. Repeat as needed.
6. Belly Breath
Lie down facing the ceiling or the sky. Place a hand on your stomach and inhale slowly through your nose. Take notice of the way your abdomen rises. Then, as you exhale, contract the abdomen muscles tohelp push all the air out of your lungs.
7. The Wim Hof Technique
A bright and spirited outlook being verified by scientific studies. Wim Hof has created a deep breathing exercise that stimulates the nervous system. The aim is to diminish shallow breathing because it oxidizes and acidifies the body. The technique can be undertaken daily in just a few minutes. There are many beneficial results for those who try it. Here's the process direct from Wim Hof's website:
'Inhale deeply through the nose or mouth, and exhale unforced through the mouth. Fully inhale through the belly, then chest and then let go unforced. Repeat this 30 to 40 times in short, powerful bursts. You may experience light-headedness, and tingling sensations in your fingers and feet.'
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