Breathing Rhythms to Soothe Your Nervous System
💨 How do breathing practices help?
Breathing practices enables more air to flow into your body and can help calm your nerves, reducing stress and anxiety. It can also help you improve your attention span and lower pain levels.
When we are calm, we can focus better, think more objectively and choose decisions that are in our best interests.
In short, it helps bring you home to yourself. Here are three yogic breath practices that I incoporate into my life regularly to find safety in my body, to calm my nerves and connect back to myself.
I ususally complete around 5-10 rounds of each.
1) Samma Vritti (equalised breathing)
Samavritti pranayama is a breathing technique that uses a set length of equal inhalations and exhalations.
Essentially, you modify the breath so that you inhale for the same length as you exhale.
This can be a breathing in for the count of 4, and out for a count of 4 (or whatever count feels more comfortable for you).
2) Extended exhale breathing
Slow controlled breathing with long exhales moves the nervous system away from the fight-or-flight mode and towards rest-and-digest. It may be helpful to use a count at the beginning.
So, breathing in for the count of 4 and out for the count of 6 (or whatever count feels comfortable for you).
3) Simhasana (Lion's breath)
This is a very basic version of lion's breath.
Inhale through your nose. Exhale strongly through the mouth, making a "ha" sound. As you exhale, option to open your mouth wide and stick your tongue as far out as possible towards your chin.
You can use this breath when you feel hot and need to release heat form the body. Also, helpful when you feel angry/irritated for tension release from the face and body.
Please let me know if you try any of these out and find them helpful.