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Rejuvenating Your Body through Proper Breathing Techniques
For thousands of years, traditional practices like yoga have emphasized on the importance of breathing correctly. This practice however is becoming popular globally as researchers have realized that proper breathing can lead to substantial positive results in a human body. Breathing is undoubtedly the most basic routine, and arguably one of the most ignored ones. Applying certain techniques for proper breathing will not only benefit your body, but will also help in relaxation and relieving stress. Following are some of the most effective breathing practices and regular application of even one of these will surely result in a harmonious life and body.
Prayanama is the term used for proper breathing techniques in yoga. Most asanas in yoga require specific breathing patterns. Prayanama on its own or as a part of an asana help in centering the body and relieving stress. Prayanama is a vast subject which applies many different forms of breathing. In short, Prayanama revolves around controlled breathing techniques. One of the most basic ones that are recommended for beginners is Savasana, or the Relaxation Pose.
Lie straight down on the floor, open your legs a little and point your toes outwards, but not forcibly so. Keep your arms on your sides, with your palms facing upwards, but they should not be touching your body. Now close your eyes and take deep breaths. And with every breath imagine stress being released from your body. Do this for 5 to 10 minutes every day.
2. Breathing through the Stomach
Breathing is a basic two way mechanism, inhaling and exhaling. But most of the time unconsciously we are breathing through our chests instead of our stomachs. You can practice breathing through the stomach by following this procedure. Sit up straight or lie down and then take deep breath through your nostrils and feel your stomach filling up. Make sure it’s your stomach that fills up with air and not your chest. This basic technique if applied regularly will properly regulate your breathing patterns.
Meditation focuses on relaxing your body and mind and thus breathing techniques are an important part of it. Meditation offers a number of ways for relieving stress through breathing but this one is the most basic. For this too you will have to lie down straight on the floor and relax for a couple of minutes. Try to eliminate all thoughts and worries on your mind and concentrate on your breathing. Once you feel your body is relaxed, inhale for about 8 seconds, then hold on to the breath for another 8 seconds and then slowly release the air for the same amount of time. Repeat this 6-8 times and practice regularly.
4. The Cleansing Breath
This practice is a great way to release stress, especially from your shoulders and your back. Sit up straight and inhale deeply, making sure to move your shoulder blades in the upward position, then open your lips just a little and exhale through your mouth. Do this a couple of times. It is a great any-time exercise, so whenever you remember breathing correctly just practice it a couple of times. And once you start to feel the results, you’ll be remembering it more often than you’d need to!
5. Alternate Nostril Breathing
This is another popular yoga breathing technique. This technique helps you breathe through both nostrils equally. Take turns breathing through each nostril. Block your left nostril by placing your thumb on the left side of the nose and inhale through your right nostril. Hold on for a couple of seconds and release the air through the left nostril. Repeat by inhaling through the left nostril first. This technique is believed to have numerous benefits and balances both of your brain’s hemispheres.