Yoga has quite the reservoir of breathing techniques, and here’s a simple one you can try today called Belly Breathing.
Belly Breathing can be done anytime you want to feel more calm, centred and present. This exercise is simple enough it can even be taught to children and is a great way for kids and adults alike to take a pause in their day and come out feeling more relaxed, grounded and present.
- To start, find a comfortable seat or lay down. If you’re seated, ensuring you’re in good posture (sitting up straight, relax the shoulders up back and down). Tip: you can sit on a block or blanket to elevate your hips, which brings more ease into sitting up straight.
- Close the eyes and bring your awareness to your breath. Just breathing slowly and deeply, inhaling and exhaling through the nose.
- Keeping the eyes closed, bring your hands to your belly and lightly interlace the fingers. Start to notice how your body moves as you breathe.
- Notice on the inhales — the belly rises. On the exhales — the belly sinks back down. Continue to breathe, slow inhales & long exhales.
- As you inhale and the belly rises, maybe you notice your fingers come apart a little; as you exhale and the belly sinks back down, perhaps you notice the fingers come closer together.
- Set a timer for 4-5 minutes and when you open your eyes, bask in the feeling before getting up and notice you feel. 🙂
Having the hands on our bellies this way helps us follow the movement of the breath, but its optional. If you’re in public or would like to do this without having the hands there, you can simply observe the rise and fall of your belly as you breathe in and out, with the arms by your side if your lying down; or hands just resting in your lap if you’re seated.
And that is all! Breath work is such an integral part of yoga and our breath really is a powerful tool in calming and relaxing our bodies and clearing our mind. We all could use a little more presence in our lives so I hope this serves you.
May peace be with you.