Feeling stressed? Quick breathing exercises to calm your nerves

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While feeling some amount of stress is quite normal and can actually make you achieve your goals, it can at times have an overpowering effect on you. Uncontrolled stress over a long period of time could lead to many chronic diseases like cardiac diseases, depression, diabetes, gastrointestinal issues. It is important to nip the problem in its bud and let it not accumulate. The best way to do that is to release the stress from time to time. Pranayama or breathing exercise is one of the most effective techniques to release stress at any times of the day and calm your nerves.

“The technique of breathing in the study and practice of yoga is called pranayama. These techniques can be done anywhere and need no special apparatus. Pranayama is extremely favourable in protecting you from any kind of illnesses. Pranayama exercises when done regularly can be effective in keeping your body in optimum health. Breathing exercises aid in the release of toxins from your body keeping it strong, and full of the vital life force of prana,” says renowned Yoga expert Grand Master Akshar.

Here are some of the breathing exercises suggested by the yoga guru to release your stress:

ALSO READ: Puffy eyes? Yoga tips by Grand Master Akshar for improving eye health

1. Bhastrika Pranayama

Method

Sit in any comfortable pose (such as Sukhasan, Ardhapadmasan or Padmasana).

Straighten your back and close your eyes.

Place your palms on your knees facing up.

Inhale and fill your lungs with air.

Exhale completely.

Inhalation and exhalation should be done in a 1:1 ratio. For example, if you breathe in for 6 counts, you must take 6 counts to exhale.

Bhramari Pranayama

Method

Sit in any comfortable pose (such as Sukhasan, Ardhapadmasan or Padmasana).

Straighten your back and close your eyes.

Place your palms on your knees facing up.

Place your thumbs on the external flap outside on your ear.

Place your index finger on your forehead; your middle finger on the corner of your eye (medial canthus) and ring finger on the corner of your nostril.

Inhale and fill your lungs with air.

As you exhale, slowly make a buzzing sound like that of a bee.

Keep your mouth closed the entire time and feel the vibration of the sound throughout your body.

ALSO READ: Try out these 5 breathing exercises to deal with anxiety

Duration

You may begin by practicing this breathing technique for five minutes a day and gradually increase it with time.

Chakravati Pranayama

Method

Fill your lungs with air as you inhale.

Do not disturb your stomach area.

Visualize circles in front of your face.

Use your right hand to draw imaginary circles close to your nose.

Imagine the air flowing into your nose like a spring.

With one breath, draw 3 clockwise circles in front of your nose and then exhale.

Duration

Start with a few circles and gradually increase up to 100 as you become an expert in this technique.

Tips for beginners

“When you are a beginner, it is most advisable to practice these pranayama techniques in slow speed and gradually build your practice level, and move towards medium speed and then finally, fast speed. All these three levels have a positive impact on the body and mind,” says Grand Master Akshar.

Benefits of practicing Pranayama

Some of the benefits of practising pranayama every day is that it cleanses the entire body and releases toxins. It also improves lung’s breathing capacity. Pranayama removes excess fat from the body as it enhances digestion. It helps to regulate the nervous system, purifies blood, energizes the body and reduces laziness.

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