Amidst our daily chaotic life, we often hear and practice the phrase – “take a deep breath.” Under extreme stress and anxiety, we take deep breaths and try to dispel away the frustration and agony. In most cases, it does work!
One of the most common and easy ways to mediate is deep breathing. Though scientific evidence now attests to its ability to improve the cardiovascular, immune, digestive, and nervous systems, the practice is easily a few thousand years old.
Meditation has its roots, as far as 5,000 BCE, when it was quite prevalent in India among the spiritual gurus and devotees. Before meditation became a wellness trend across the globe, various religions have evidence of this therapeutic practice.
For centuries, yogis have used various breathing techniques to enter the meditation mode. Now, in modern times, breathing has become an integral aspect of the different yoga poses.
There are various breathing meditations that you can adopt in order to calm your mind and body. As per research, meditation can greatly decrease anxiety while aiding the boosting of memory.
One of the most common breathing techniques is Shamatha breathing. Also known as reset breath, this technique aids you in mindful meditation. This particular practice has its origin in Buddhism. It entails deep inhalation, holding of the breath for some seconds, and then exhaling it. But, when your mind feels distracted, you can return the focus to the breathing technique.
Another vital breathing technique that is often practiced by people across the globe is pranayama. It is the meditative practice of breathing while maintaining control over it. With this, you can find internal balance and peace.
In one of the many pranayama practices, Nadhi sodhana, you use the thumb of the left hand to create blockage over the right nostril. This leaves the left nostril open. Now, you must inhale through the belly and make sure that you are not using the chest. After you have inhaled, seal the left nostril too and hold in the breath. Now, release the thumb and exhale via the right nostril. Then inhale via the right side, seal both sides and exhale from the left nostril. Now, you have completed a breathing cycle using both nostrils. If you are anxious or stressed, this breathing technique will definitely help.
Kundalini or diaphragm breathing involves controlled breathing with the use of the diaphragm. When you practice this particular type of breathing techniques, you take more air and thereby lead to a reduction in the oxygen demand. It is extremely beneficial for people suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
For this, lie down or sit and place one hand on the stomach just below the rib cage and the other on the upper chest. Then, breathe via the nose and feel the movement of your stomach. Try to take deep breaths instead of shallow ones.
It is vital to keep in mind that you are unlikely to get results overnight. Continued practice of breathing techniques will have a positive impact on the physical and mental health with time. It can ultimately help you deal with stress while strengthening various other systems in your body.