On days when life moves a little too fast, it’s a good idea to pause and be present. Breathwork is a great way to slow down because it’s all about awareness and focus. There are so many different exercises, depending on your goal, so you can experiment till you find the one!
Box breathing is best for stress management. Also known as square breathing, this exercise was used by athletes, nurses and doctors, and even the U.S Navy. To do it, you would inhale, hold your breath, exhale then hold your breath again for the same number of seconds. So if you inhale for four seconds, you’d hold your breath for four seconds, and so on. Repeat at least three or four rounds for best results.
Alternate Nostril Breathing
Alternate nostril breathing is best for falling asleep. First, exhale all the air out of your lungs. Then, use your thumb to close your right nostril and inhale through your left nostril only. Hold your breath as you close your left nostril with your index/middle finger and reopen your right nostril and exhale. Inhale from the right nostril, then repeat the process. Continue for a few minutes until you feel drowsy.
4-7-8 breathing is best for managing anger. This exercise is a little challenging if you’re new to breathwork, but it’s worth trying out. It’s simply inhaling for four seconds, holding your breath for seven seconds, and exhaling it all out in eight seconds. We recommend that you practice it often to make it easier to perform when you need it. Best part is that if you ever forget how to do it, just take a look at its name!
Deep breaths are best for feeling more present and safe. Probably the most commonly known breathing exercise, but adding in some tweaks to amplify its effect. Try inhaling through your nose, but exhaling through the mouth. Also, when you exhale, you can either let it out with a sigh, best if you’re feeling frustrated, or pretend like you’re exhaling through a straw, best if you’re feeling overwhelmed.