Learning to breathe correctly helps to reduce anxiety. Tes, a qualified yoga instructor in Brisbane (RelaxYoga) has developed a breathing exercise which is ideal for inducing calm and relaxing the mind and body.
*Remember that breathing exercises are like any other form of exercise, it takes time to master it and the more you practice, the better you become at it.
I invite you today to begin by observing YOUR breath:
Quietly watch how you’re breathing without manipulating your breath, just observe.
How fast are you breathing?
How much of your lung capacity are you using?
Are you breathing to belly or your chest?
Is your inhale longer than your exhale?
Or your exhale longer than your inhale?
Or are they the same?
Are you holding your breath?
If so, are you holding your breath in, or out?
My habit is to hold my breath out, so my practice builds my ability to hold my breath in.
The most beneficial practice for you depends on many things including your habitual breathing pattern.
Most people aren’t aware of their habitual breathing pattern, and in group environments (like this one) we as teachers are careful not to cause further imbalance by recommending specific corrective practices to large groups!
So here’s my favourite generic breathing practice that everyone can use to bring a sense of balance!
Breathe IN, PAUSE, Breathe OUT, PAUSE
In 3, hold 3, out 3, hold 3 – repeat 6 or more times
(at this rate you'll be taking 5 breaths a minute, and for many people this will already be slow, it will be enough!)
Increase your count to: in 4, hold 4, out 4, hold 4 and repeat 6 times
Then if you can, move up to 5, 6 etc.
Each time you breathe out let your shoulders drop and your body soften.
Build your count, but NEVER leave yourself gasping for air - its not a competition to see how long your breath can be!
If you want to teach this to a child get them to paint an imaginary square in the air with each side of the square representing 1 part of the breath - this is what we do in class and it works for all ages!
(Don't try to teach a child something new when they're in the middle of an emotional state, teach them when they don't need it so they can be directed to remember it when they do.)
That's it for now!
I hope this was helpful to you and that you have a wonderful, wonderful day!
As a former sufferer of childhood anxiety, my passion is helping children and parents overcome anxiety. I currently work as a child trauma counsellor part time and in my spare time I write and build my website which has a shop dedicated with resources that aim to reduce anxiety. Thank you for reading my blog. Laura 🌸