When you’re running around all day, it difficult to stop and ground. But this is a powerful way to check-in with yourself and mitigate stress. Luckily, it only takes a few minutes to do some soothing breathing exercises – also known as pranayam. So, if you are feeling a overwhelmed, exhausted or agitated – try some of these calming breathing techniques. You can do everywhere during your day – all you to do these easy pranayam is a space where you can sit (or in tough situations even stand) quietly along with a couple of spare minutes. In no time you’ll feel more relaxed, rejuvenated and regrouped.
1. Something Simple
This breathing exercise was one my mother used to make me do as a kid before bed. It helps detoxify the body and re-oxygenate our tissues. You can do it sitting up or laying down. All you have to do its inhales for a count of ten, hold this breath in for a count of ten, then exhale for a count of ten. If you do this ten times, you’ll feel much more relaxed afterward, and even re-energized.
2. Something Calming
This next exercise is referred to as Anuloma Viloma, or as I called it “alternating nostril thingy”. Placing the right thumb over the right nostril, you inhale through the left nostril. Holding this, you plug you left nostril with you fourth finger releasing the thumb and exhaling through the right nostril. Then do the other side: inhale again through the right nostril with the ring finger plugging up the left nostril and switch closing the right nostril with the thumb and breathing out from the left nostril. This is said to be one of the best pranayam for calming the mind. Plus with all the concentration required to do this, you’ll probably forget all about what you were even getting agro about.
3. Something Cooling
This last one is called Sheetali pranayam. Stick your tongue out at excess Pitta with this cooling pranayam. I have done it when I’m feeling like my tummy is acidic as well as when I’m hot-headed. In a sitting position, you simply roll your tongue making a tube out of it (yes, like we used to do in school). This tube acts like a straw of which you breathe through. Inhale through the mouth and exhale through the nose. You can actually feel the cold breathe coming into your body and excess heat being purged out.