Stress is an unavoidable part of life…unfortunately, the onset of COVID-19 has changed our normal routines and has made a significant impact on how we live. For the last 6 months, this pandemic has increased our physical, emotional and mental stress levels. When you are feeling stressed out and anxious, take the time to “breathe consciously”. Not only will it make you feel more balanced, but you will also feel more productive. Conscious breathing restores balance to the nervous system.
Try these 2 simple breathing exercises:
Balanced Breathing (Sama Vritti)
1) Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight
2) Close your eyes and breathe naturally
3) Now take a long, deep breath through your nose for 4 seconds
4) Exhale on a count of 4 seconds
(The length of your inhale and exhale should be the same)
5) Repeat for several minutes until you feel your mind and body relax
***For beginners, try this breathing exercise for 1 minute. Then practice breathing a few more minutes longer every day.
Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana)
1) Sit in a comfortable seated position
2) Breathe naturally, allowing your mind and body to settle
3) Hold your right thumb over your right nostril
4) Inhale slowly & deeply through the left nostril
5) At the peak of inhalation, close off the left nostril with the ring finger
6) Exhale through the right nostril
7) Hold your left thumb over your left nostril
8) Inhale slowly & deeply through the right nostril
9) At the peak of inhalation, close the right nostril with your ring finger
10) Exhale through the left nostril
Remember to inhale through the same nostril you just exhaled through.
***Repeat this breathing exercise until you feel your mind and body relax