Tips and exercises for you to master your breathing and change your life.

My 6-year tells me (and I quote verbatim) “The best way to fall asleep is to get under the covers, close your eyes and just breathe.” How wise these little people in our lives are. Breath is prana, life force energy, it is the ultimate source of life.

Without breath life ceases to exist. It feeds our bodies and simultaneously it feeds our emotions. Quicken your breath and you will experience an increase in heart beat, perspiration and will create the feeling of anxiety; slow your breath and your heart rate will slow, you will enter a state of calm and relaxation.

Give it a try…. Take 20 quick breaths and see how you feel …. Hyped up? Anxious? Now take 10 slow long breaths …. Inhale 1-2-3-4-5- hold 1-2-3 exhale 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8. How do you feel now? Relaxed? Calm? Less stressed? So powerful and yet within your control. Learn to master your breathing and you will change your life.

It is a good idea to try a few breathing techniques and find one that you enjoy, to keep in your arsenal for when you to need calm and centre yourself. You never know when those situations are going to pop up and having mastered a technique to reduce anxiety, stress or anger can go a long way to keeping you in control of yourself and your emotions.

Controlling your emotions in times of stress or challenge significantly mitigates regret and further stress AND maintains your positive vibration because you have managed to dodge a cycle of reaction and regret, which would leave you feeling anxious, sorrowful, angry and thus in a low vibrational state.

Breathing techniques

Technique 1:

My go to technique and favourite: Inhale counting to 5, hold your breath and count to 3, exhale and count to 8. Deep, long, slow breaths. Repeat for about 5 minutes or until you feel that wonderful sense of calm coming over you.

Presto! Mini-meditation complete. Tip: try to clear your mind and focus purely on your breath.

Technique 2:

Alternate nostril breathing is a technique that is said to bring calm, balance and unite the left and right sides of the brain. Sitting comfortably, hold the right thumb over the right nostril and inhale through the left nostril; at the peak of the inhale block the left nostril with your fore finger, release the thumb on your right nostril and exhale out of the right nostril.

Then inhale through the right nostril, at the peak of the inhale block the right nostril, release the left nostril and exhale through the left nostril.

Continue with the pattern of alternating between inhaling through the right nostril and exhaling through the left nostril and then inhaling through the left and exhaling through the right. Continue this rhythm for about 5-minutes. You will find your mind focused and clear of any mental clutter. Wonderful!

Technique 3:

A balanced breathing technique where you breathe in through the nose for a count of 4 and breathe out through the nose for a count of 4. Once you have mastered the 4 counts you can extend the count and aim for 6 then 8 counts, inhaling for 8 counts and exhaling for 8 counts.

Continue this practice for about 5-minutes. It is so relaxing, I guarantee you will feel soooo chilled when you are done.

There are many breathing techniques for you to try – these are just my favourite 3. They are simple to do and easy to remember. Enjoy!