If you’ve ever been to a yoga class, I’m sure you’ve practiced some breath work or breathing exercises. When doing breathing exercises, you become conscious of your breathing and control it in a systematic way. A lot of the time breath work is used in your yoga practice as it has been found to have physical, mental, and spiritual benefits. I’ve been to enough therapy to know that it can help calm anxiety and is beloved by mental health professionals.
There are many different breathing exercises that you can use during your yoga practice. There are a couple of techniques that I’ve used in and out of my yoga practice that I think are both easy and effective.
- Belly Breathing – When you breathe in, picture the breath filling up your stomach. If you have a mirror look into it and watch your belly rise and fall and avoid using your chest to breathe. This breath work is great if you’re using this technique while setting an intention or meditating. You can picture light filling up your stomach and then flowing back out.
- Square Breaths – Square breathing is also pretty simple. You breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, breathe out for 4 seconds, and then hold again for 4 seconds. This exercise is great if your are feeling anxious or are having trouble calming down. It can help reset your breathing and keep you in the moment. It’s also great because the amount of seconds you are breathing or holding can be adjusted based on your own personal needs!