Breathing techniques to calm the mind, for challenging times and for life.

Some breathing techniques and Pranayama exercises, increase the relaxation response, allowing you to be more present, aware, calmer, and attentive to your thoughts, feelings and experiences and more resilient to life stress and anxiety.

I would like to share with you a couple of simple techniques that I use during my breathing classes and, which proved to be very efficient in most demanding situations and challenging moments. There are many more other techniques, but I find that less is more and the simplest the exercises, the more effective they are. Those breathing practices can be used anywhere and at any time. At your work, at home or during travels.

Please note that they are not cures of any sorts. They can be considered as your own personal “quick fix” tools for every day-to-day life challenges. If you continue to feel unwell, I highly recommend that you seek advice from your doctor.

They can also be used for general well-being or if you are planning to develop a pranayama or meditation practice. Breathing exercises are a great starting point to bring the mind inward and to develop a profound sense of awareness. In my own practice, I will be using the “Breath awareness” technique as the first exercise of the day to awaken my senses, body and mind.

Enjoy and happy breathing.

Breath awareness

(10- 25 counts)

  • Settle in your sitting pose (chair/floor/cushion)
  • Bring awareness to the breath.
  • Stay with it for a minute or so.
  • When you found the flow and the rhythm of your breath, start counting to 10 counts.
  • One count = one inhale, and one exhale.
  • Through time, Increase the counts when you feel you can hold your awareness fully on all the counts.

Conscious breathing

  • Sit comfortably with a straight spine.
  • Place your hands on the legs
  • Close your eyes.
  • Feel the sensation in your body.
  • Go through a brief body scan: feet/ legs/ torso/neck/ head.
  • Bring your awareness to the abdomen, watch the breath there for a few seconds.
  • Pause.
  • Next, bring the mind to your nose and sense the breath at the edge of your nose.
  • Rest there for a few seconds and observe the sensation of the breath passing through your nostrils.
  • Pause.
  • Now, inhale consciously through the nose, exhale gently from the mouth slightly open.
  • Next, inhale through the nose, exhale through the nose.
  • Repeat those two breathing exercises back to back until you start experiencing a sense of calm and quiet in your body and mind.
  • Pause.
  • Stop the exercise, and stay quietly watching your breath with your eyes kept closed.

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