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Breathing Exercise: Types and Benefits of breathing exercises


Nov. 22, 2020, 4:28 p.m.

NEW DELHI (DIVYA SAINI): Breathing exercises can help you relax, because they make your body feel like it does when you are already relaxed. This is because when you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax.

 

1. Pursed lip breathing  You can practice this breathing exercise at any time. Practice this 4 to 5 times a day.

 

Steps:

Inhale slowly through your nose.

Purse your lips as you are going to whistle.

Exhale slowly by blowing air through your pursed lips.

 

2. Diaphragmatic breathing

Belly breathing can help you use your diaphragm properly. Do belly breathing exercises when you’re feeling relaxed. Practice this for 5 to 10 minutes 3 to 4 times per day.

 

Steps:

Lie on your back with your knees bent and put your head on a pillow.

Place one hand on your upper chest and one hand below your rib cage.

Slowly inhale through your nose.

Keep your other hand still.

Exhale as you tighten your stomach muscles, keeping your upper hand still.

 

3. Breath focus technique

You can start with a 10-minute session and increase the duration until your sessions are at least 20 minutes.

 

Steps:

Sit in a comfortable place.

Focus on your breaths without trying to change how you’re breathing.

Alternate between normal and deep breaths.

Practice your deep breathing for a 10 minutes.

Place one hand below the belly button, keeping your belly calm, and notice how it rises with each inhale and falls with each exhale.

 

4.  Alternate nostril breathing

Alternate nostril breathing is a breathing practice for relaxation. It has been shown to enhance cardiovascular function and to lower the heart rate. It’s best practiced on an empty stomach.

 

Steps:

Lift up your right hand toward your nose, pressing your first and middle fingers down toward your palm and leaving your other fingers extended.

After an exhale, use your right thumb to gently close your right nostril.

Release your thumb and exhale out through your right nostril.

Inhale through your right nostril and then close this nostril.

Release your fingers to open your left nostril and exhale through this side.

Repeat this practice till 10 minutes.

 

Benefits of Breathing Exercises:

1 Decreases stress: When you become stressed, your brain releases the stress hormone called cortisol. By taking deep breaths, your heart rate slows, more oxygen enters our blood stream due to which brain relaxes. 

2 Improves immunity: When your blood is oxygenated, it absorbs nutrients and vitamins and minerals more efficiently. It cleanses the blood, which boosts your immunity.

3 Increases energy: The more oxygen in the blood, the better our body functions. It also improves our stamina which increases energy to perform activities.

4 Lowers blood pressure: This allows blood vessels to dilate, which improves circulation and lowers blood pressure. Deep breathing also slows and regulates the heart rate, which also helps with lowering your BP.

5 Improves digestion: The more you breathe deep, the more healthier blood will be produced, which helps organs to function more effectively.

 

Image credits: Google



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