Breathing Techniques for Self-healing
Have you ever given any thought to the oxygen you inhale and the carbon dioxide that you exhale? While the different postures and yoga poses are given a lot of importance, breathing techniques or pranayama – the practice of controlling your breath is just as essential in yoga practice and in practising mindfulness. You can go months without food, days without water, but not more than a few minutes without breathing. And yet, breathing practices are overlooked by most people even though they can be very beneficial for our health. Once you realise the power of controlling your breath, you are likely to have a different outlook on life. It serves as a connection between the mind and our consciousness.
When our minds are unsteady is when our breathing becomes irregular, which usually happens when we’re under a lot of stress. By controlling our breathing we can calm our mind and become more mindful, intentional, and reflective, leading to a happier life.
Breathing techniques can affect our thoughts. It is said that conquering our breathing is the pathway to healing ourselves. When you learn how to breathe deep and slow, you will automatically be more relaxed and your blood pressure will lower. Slower breathing also results in a longer life, improved blood circulation, and a healthy heart since your blood is more oxygenated. Furthermore, there is more than enough evidence that controlling your breathing consequently results in improved mental health and stability by reducing anger, curing depression, decreasing arrogance and greed, improving your concentration, memory and sleep, and giving you a new perspective on life by making you experience peace.
We have assembled a list of breathing techniques for all our mindful guests.
1. Breath observation/awareness
Have you ever taken the time to focus on every breath? The key is to sit down, relax, close your eyes, and focus on every bit of O2 that enters you and the CO2 that gushes out of you. Focus on when your breathing speeds up and when it slows down. The best part about this breathing technique is that you can do it anywhere and at any time. This technique helps you relax and calm down.
2. Ocean breathing
This is one of the breathing techniques that are perfect for beginners and is exceptionally calming. You inhale slowly through your nostrils, and breath out with your mouth open with an ‘HA’ sound. When you keep doing it, there is a hissing sound that you will notice. Researchers have said that this technique relaxes you because your larynx vibrates and triggers sensory receptors that induce a calming effect.
3. Alternative nostril breathing
This breathing technique involves closing one nostril with your finger while breathing in from the other. Continue this alternatively. Research has shown that this technique balances overactive nervous systems and is good for some people before they sleep as it reduces stress. It also clears your mind, lowers blood pressure and makes you focused.
4. Breath retention
Breathe in, wait 10 seconds and then breathe in again. You will notice that you are able to breathe in more air. The capacity of your lungs increases while they expand. This results in more oxygenated blood from your heart and increases blood circulation.
5. Fire breath
This is a breathing technique that energises you and activates your fight or flight response. Even though it can be challenging at first and make you feel strange, it’s definitely worth the patience. Beginners should do it slower for a shorter time (30 seconds). You start by straightening out your back and increasing the length between your chest and navel. While you inhale and exhale, start pulling your abdomen inwards while inhaling, and outward while exhaling. Do this more rapidly and try to shorten each breath. Try to equalise each breath. This breathing technique improves decision making, is calming, pain relieving, and strengthening.
6. 3-way breathing
This involves putting one hand on your chest and the other on your belly and then breathing in the air into your chest, then to your lower abdomen, then filling your stomach with air. Then you release it the same way. This method is believed to cure insomnia, anxiety, and frustration.
7. 4-7-8 breathing
You can use this technique to sleep as it offers you deep relaxation and gives your organs an oxygen boost that is healthy. Your tongue is placed behind your front teeth and you start with gushing air out with a ‘whoosh’ sound with your lips open. Then, close your lips and inhale slowly through your nose as you count to 4-5. Once you’ve held your breath for about 7 seconds, make the same ‘whoosh’ sound to exhale the breath for 8 seconds. In this breathing technique, the most crucial part is holding of the breath.
Now that you have mastered the art of controlling your breathing, start your journey towards healing yourself and clearing your mind and changing your perspective on life.
The majority of our Party Houses are set in beautiful rural areas ideal for relaxing your mind and practising these breathing techniques. Some of them have been optimised to welcome yoga groups so make sure to also take a look at our Party Houses for yogis.
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