Exercises always come to your rescue if done in the right manner and at the right time. While you may know the benefits of various exercises for different parts of the body, do you know that breathing exercises also have a lot of benefits?
Taking care of your posture, breathing exercises work to reduce your stress levels, improve blood flow, increase your energy levels, detoxify the body, improve your digestion, improve the working of lungs, and much more.
The present article will provide you a brief guide on 10 such breathing exercises that you can incorporate in your daily routine easily.
Breathing exercises don’t need to be started with a long time in the beginning. Start with a 5 minutes schedule. If this feels difficult, even 2 minutes would suffice in the beginning. If you don’t trust that, try it now. Take a deep breath in and now let it out. Can you notice a difference in how you are feeling? Yes, that’s the magic of breathing exercises.
Try the below exercises to relax from stress and also improve your lung capacity.
1-: Morning Breathing
This is a great exercise to begin your day with. Try doing it first thing in the morning to relieve muscle tension, back stiffness and clear blocked breathing passages.
- Stand upright then bend forward at the waist. Let your arms loose forward towards the floor and bend slightly at the knees.
- While you breathe in slowly, roll your back until you stand straight. Lift your head in the last.
- Now here, hold your breath for a few beats while you raise your arms above your head.
- Breathe out slowly and drop back to the previous position, bending at the waist.
2-: Belly Breathing
You do not appreciate your behavior in stressful situations and want something that can help you relax. If that is the case, belly breathing can be a good way to relax or calm your mind in tough situations.
- Sit straight on a comfortable chair or on the floor cross-legged.
- Place one hand on your belly, over your belly button and the other on your chest.
- Inhale a slow, deep breath in through your nose using your diaphragm. You will notice that the hand on your stomach moves out and the one on your chest remains still.
- Exhale out slowly through pursed lips. Notice the hand on your belly move in. Push all the air out of your lungs.
- Try it for 5 to 10 times.
3-: 4-7-8 Breathing
This exercise is a simple technique for relaxation much like belly breathing but with a difference in holding and releasing time.
- Keep your hands on your belly and your chest as above.
- Breathe in slowly taking a deep breath in through your nose. Breathe into your belly while you count silently to four.
- Hold your breath while you count slowly and silently to seven.
- Now breathe out slowly through your mouth while you count to eight. Target to empty your lungs by the time you reach eight.
- Repeat the cycle 5 to 10 times.
4-: Roll Breathing
This exercise helps you in relaxation and increased focus.
- Like in above, place your hands on your belly and chest and practice belly breathing 5 to 10 times.
- Once comfortable with breathing into your belly, you need to add the next step; breath into your belly as before to fill your lower lungs and then continue by breathing into your chest to fill your upper lungs.
- Hold your breath here for a couple of beats, and then slowly exhale through your mouth letting first your belly relax, then your chest.
- Practice breathing this way for a few minutes. In case, you feel light-headed, stop and breathe normally.
5-: Equal Breathing
After a day-long, you should relax your body and mind before going to sleep. This is an effective ready for bed exercise, however, it can be done any time you want to relax, pacify your mind or increase your focus.
- Breathe in and breathe out through the nose counting to four each way.
- When you are comfortable with this, try breathing for six or eight beats each way.
6-: Alternate Nostril Breathing
This exercise helps in uniting the left and right sides of the brain and works best if you want to focus or energize yourself.
- Sit upright on a chair or floor cross-legged.
- Place your right-hand thumb on your right nostril to close it and inhale deeply through the left nostril.
- When you feel you have inhaled till peak, close off the left nostril with your index finger, lift the thumb from the right nostril and breathe out.
- Now, continue it by breathing in through the right nostril, and then closing it off and exhaling through the left.
7-: Bellows Breathing
This is a great exercise that makes your lungs work out along with an effort felt in your neck, chest, and abdomen. However, do not continue if you feel uncomfortable. Follow the instructions carefully.
- Sit in a comfortable, upright position.
- With your mouth closed, you have to rapidly breathe in and out of your nose.
- Inhalation and exhalation should be equal in length and as fast as possible.
8-: Skull Shining Breath
This is a little difficult one so continue it only if you feel comfortable. In case you feel dizzy, stop and return to breathing normally. It helps in warming up the body rousing your brain.
- Inhale in slowly and deeply through your nose.
- Exhale through your nose quickly and forcefully, with the help of your abdominal muscles to power it.
- Repeat 5 to 10 times, to complete one inhalation and exhalation per one to two seconds.
9-: Chinese Breath Technique
This is a good way of increasing lung capacity, but may cause light-headedness, so follow it till you are comfortable. Read all the steps below properly:
- Start with your arms hanging loosely by your sides.
- You have to take short inhales through the nose, without breathing out in between each intake.
- When you take first inhalation raise your arms straight out in front of you at shoulder height.
- On the second inhalation, extend your arms out to the sides, keeping them at shoulder height.
- On the third and last inhalation elevate your arms straight above your head.
- Hold your breath and hold position for a couple of beats, then slowly breathe out while lowering your arms back to your sides in a controlled arc.
- Repeat 5 to 10 times. Stop if you are uncomfortable.
10-: Partially Submerged Breathing
This is a great exercise for increasing lung capacity. Practice any of the deep breathing forms while partially submerged in water to make your lungs work harder and to increase your lung capacity.