The modern American lifestyle is a busy one. We all go from work, to picking up our kids or running errands, to soccer practice, to the grocery store, and eventually to a home that feels just as busy and hectic as the rest of the day. Hours can go by without any self-reflection or relaxation and it can sometimes feel like you have not taken a breath in ages.
This is why intentional breathwork is an absolute necessity. Taking the time to consciously breathe is a great way to combat stress and anxiety and will help you focus on accomplishing the many challenges that modern life presents on a daily basis.
At Elements Massage Central Scottsdale, we have outlined a few common breathing practices that can help you make this important activity a regular part of your day:
- Belly Breathing
While lying on your back, put one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Take deep and slow breaths in through your nose and direct the air towards your belly and not to your lungs. You will know you are doing it right if you feel the hand on your belly rise and the other stay still. Not only is this a great way to concentrate on breathing, but it is also a great way to bring relief to your lower back, something everyone one of us needs.
- Nostril Breathing
This is a well-known breathing exercise that is practiced most commonly by yoga enthusiasts. Simply plug one nostril at a time and take in deep slow breaths in through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Plugging alternating nostrils will force you to focus on the breath going in and out of one specific part of your body. This is a great breathing exercise for when you feel overwhelmed or unfocused.
- Counting Breaths
Counting off the amount of time that you take to inhale is a great way to progress to deeper and fuller breaths. Start by taking in a normal breath and counting off how long it takes before you exhale. On each subsequent breath, add another count.
There are so many breathing methods out there so do a little research and choose one that works for you. The important thing is to start incorporating regular and intentional breathing into your regular daily regimen.