4 Beginner Breathwork Techniques & The Best Time Of Day To Do Them.
Deep breathing is an excellent tool for both the mind and the body. Many people, however, find it difficult to use the right breathing technique this is because when we sit down in a comfortable position and start to take deep breaths in the quiet our external stimulus, all of our overthinking, feelings, and sensations arise.
Breathwork, however, is one of the relaxation techniques that allow us to disengage from the mind and follow our body and heart’s guidance. We reconnect to our wholeness, reduce stress, feel relaxed, are more capable of handling anxiety, and lingering trauma when we take a relaxing breath out.
It helps to relieve stress, release emotions, thoughts, memories, and acts that do not promote our growth. There are numerous breathwork techniques, each with its own function and impact on the body.
So, take a deep breath and have a look at these four beginner breathwork breathing exercises that you should know about, as well as some tips on how and when to utilise them.
The 4-7-8 Breathing Technique
Andrew Weil, M.D.’s Relaxing Breath, often known as 4-7-8 breathing, helps to slow down and relax the body. Slowing the heart rate, bringing our consciousness towards the present moment, and slowing the neurological system all contribute to a sense of calm and tranquillity. It has been medically reviewed and many people use this breathing exercise.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, apprehensive, irritated, triggered, or having difficulties sleeping, this simple breathing technique is great. It also teaches the body how to take in less (in a world where we have racing thoughts), how to create space between inhale and exhale, and how to expel surplus energy and thinking from the body.
The 4-7-8 technique pushes your mind and body to focus on your breathing pattern rather than worrying. Some say it can calm a racing heart or frayed nerves. Dr Weil calls it a “natural nervous system tranquillizer.”
The overall principle of 4-7-8 breathing is similar to these breathing exercises:
- Alternate nostril breathing involves breathing, one nostril at a time, keeping the other closed. So, hold your right nostril closed then swap to your left.
- Mindfulness meditation promotes focused breathing and attention to the present.
- Visualization concentrates your mind on your natural breathing path.
- Guided imagery helps you focus on a positive experience or tale.
How Do You Do The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise?
You can do 4-7-8 breathing exercises at any time and place. Try to practise at least twice a day in the beginning, but you can practise as much as you wish. Start with four cycles in a row. After a few cycles, you can build up to eight.
- Find a comfy seat with a straight back and your knees slightly bent.
- Keep your tongue on the rear of your top teeth.
- Exhale completely via your mouth, not your nose. Pursed lips could help.
- Close your lips and inhale four times through your nose with your mouth closed.
- For 7 counts hold your breath.
- Exhale thoroughly through your mouth for eight counts.
- This ends a cycle. Rep three times.
When you start to feel stress creeping up on you, do 4-7-8 breathing. It gets stronger as you use it. Do it before you react to an upsetting event and before you go to bed. Take a deep breath and relax.
Advocates of 4-7-8 breathing claim it gets more powerful with practice. Its effects are supposed to be delayed at first. The first time you do it, you may feel lightheaded. Some people may benefit more from doing 4-7-8 breathing twice a day than those who just do it once.
Pursed Lip Breathing
It’s a simple way to make deep breathes slower and more deliberate. This method has been medically reviewed by the Cleveland Clinic and has demonstrated to help persons with anxiety related to respiratory diseases and help promote healthy lungs for people who live with diseases such as COPD.
How Do You Do The Pursed Lip Breathing Exercises?
- Relax your neck and shoulders.
- Inhale steadily with deep breaths for two seconds through your nostrils, mouth closed.
- Exhale through your mouth for 4 seconds, pursing your lips.
- Exhale slowly and steadily.
For best results, experts advise practising pursed-lip breathing three to five times per day.
American Institute of Stress says 20-30 minutes of “belly breathing” (abdominal or diaphragmatic breathing) might relieve stress and anxiety. Find a peaceful area to sit or lie. You can sit in a chair, cross-legged, or lie on your back with a little pillow between your legs.
How Do You Do Belly Breathing Exercises?
- Hold one hand on your upper chest and one on your lower belly, below the ribs.
- Allow your stomach to relax without squeezing or tightening your muscles.
- Inhale slowly through the nose. The air should go into your nose and outward, making your stomach rise and fall (toward your spine).
- Exhale slowly with pursed lips. Note the hand on your chest, which should be steady.
Although the frequency will depend on your health, most people start with three repetitions and work up to five to ten minutes, one to four times each day.
In Sanskrit, equal breathing is called as sama vritti. The goal of this breathing method is to keep your inhales and exhales at the same length. Balance and serenity can be achieved by breathing smoothly and steadily.
You must find a balance between easy and tough breath lengths. You also want it to be too quick so that you can keep it up for the duration of the session. This is usually between 3 and 5 counts.
You can practise equal breathing while seated during your yoga practise or other daily tasks once you’ve gotten used to it.
How You Do The Equal Breathing Exercises?
Choose a seated position that is comfortable for you.
Inhale and exhale via your nose.
Count each inhale and exhale to make sure they’re all the same length. Choose a word or a brief phrase to repeat with each breath and exhalation.
If you feel comfortable, add a tiny delay or breath retention it after every inhale and exhale. (There is a natural pause in normal breathing.)
This breath should be practised for at least 5 minutes.
These four beginner breathing exercises that can help you to get started with your breathwork journey. If you would like to change your relationship with life with breathwork book an experience or coaching session with Ryan Abbott at Urban Ice Tribe today.