Palm Trees
  • Elly Gikopoulos

3 Breathing Exercises for Beginners



Hello there! Hope you’re doing great!


Did you know that if you practice controlled breathing and by time you start to breath correctly, then your breath is enough to control yourself in any situation? Breathing exercises have such a diversity of benefits.. while practicing and exploring them myself, the changes blew my mind.


They all lead to one thing, optimal wellness. Breathing exercise teaches us to slow down, gain power over our thoughts and essentially control our life force through breathing. Our body gets stronger and we have more control over it, also prevents us from diseases and we can loose fat as well, through breathing exercise.


In Sanskrit and Yoga breathing control techniques, are called Pranayama.

“Prana” means the vital life energy (life force) and it’s the force which exists in all things. “Ayama” is defined as extension or expension, and “Yama” means control.


Anyway, I’m mentioning this just as an information, because we’re not gonna go so deep yet. What I want to do in this article is to introduce you to 3 easy breathing exercises for beginners that have a lot of benefits and will be easy for anyone who would like to give it a try. So let’s start..

Mindful breathing


Benefits:

· Reduces anxiety and stress

· Helps overcome sleep issues

· Maintains blood pressure

· Alleviates gastrointestinal difficulties


What to do?

The only thing that this technique requires is, to concentrate fully on the breath, and actually this focused attention is considered as a form of Meditation.

There is a diversity of mindful breathing techniques. I will go for now with a simple one.. you just need to focus on your natural rhythm of breathing in and out, without trying to change it. Doing this will probably, slow down your breathing naturally.


How to perform mindful breathing:

  • find a quiet place without distractions

  • choose a comfortable position, ideally sitting (or lying down, but do not sleep!)

  • focus on breathing by feeling and listening to the body inhale and exhale. Sometimes I like to touch softly my belly with one hand and my chest with the other to feel better the flow of my breath.

  • allow thoughts to pass through the mind without judgment. It is totally normal if they come. Let them come and then just let them go. Focus again on your breath.

Performing this mindful breathing everyday for even 5-10 minutes is a fundamental tool, to a more relaxed with no stress and happy life.


Deep breathing



Benefits:

· Lessen anxiety and stress

· Improves Immunity

· Improves blood flow

· Increases Energy level

· Can be a natural painkiller

· Sleep better

· Improves postures


Breathing deeply it’s definitely an effective way to deal with a stressful situation, but its benefits can offer much more to your life. Let’s take a deep, full breath slowly and let’s see how it goes.


What to do?


Sit somewhere comfortably with your spine straight and consciously relax the shoulders. Take your time to release some of the tension, (you can start with mindful breathing first for few breaths, if you only feel so, and then move to Deep breathing.)

How to perform Deep breathing:

  • Inhale slowly from the nostrils, filling the lungs

  • Exhale slowly, emptying the lungs completely

It may help to count to four for each breath. Make a circle of 7 deep breathings, if its your first time. Depending on how you feel and how often you exercise you an increase to more circles if it feels good. The capacity of oxygen in your lungs will improve with this breathing. The deeper your natural breathing becomes, the longer and better your life will be.


Alternate nostril breathing- (Anulom Vilom)



Benefits:

· prevents neurological disorders

· improves digestion

· maintains blood pressure

· reducing anxiety or stress

· improves patience/ manage anger

· improves concentration and focus

· improves the quality of our sleep.


I usually work this breathing at the beginning of my classes. Alternate nostril breathing is a common part of yoga practice. Most of us, use one nostril more than the other in our normal life, without even realizing it. This exercise can even out the breathing and help to slow down the breath so we reduce stress.


What to do?



Sit in a comfortable position on the floor or a chair if it feels more comfortable. Keep your spine straight and relax your left hand to your left knee. First take a normal breath and exhale fully before beginning the breathing technique.


How to perform alternate nostril breathing:

  • close the right nostril with the thumb of one hand

  • breathe in through the left nostril

  • close the left nostril with the fourth finger and release the thumb

  • breathe out through the right nostril

  • breathe in through the right nostril

  • close the right nostril with the thumb and release the fourth finger

  • breathe out through the left nostril


This is a circle of alternate nostril. You can do at first 7 of them. If you feel comfortable you can slowly increase. This is the first level, lets say, of alternate breathing. Next level, we can start equalizing the time of breathing by counting and goes on.





You can start with these 3 easy breathing exercises and believe me, if you practice them regularly you will see your stress levels fading away and your energy increasing. Your body will respond better and you’ll finally improve your sleep.

I hope this article helps you, and I can’t wait for you to try them and see the changes yourself.


Note: If during any breathing exercise you feel any kind of discomfort, stop and continue with your natural breathing. You can start again whenever you feel ready and only if it feels ok.


Love & Light


Namastay Healthy & Happy




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