Sounds simple, right? It really is. All you need are a few simple techniques and the willingness to practice them. I think we've become so used to reaching for things outside ourselves to change how we feel that it almost seems too simple to rely on something that is always accessible and completely free but these techniques work wonders.
What can breath do?
Breath techniques can reduce stress, calm the mind, help us process difficult emotions and be less reactive, lift the mood, raise our energy levels, help us sleep and so much more. Conscious breathing also brings our heart rate and blood pressure down, oxygenates the body and strengthens the lungs and immune system.
What is Pranayama?
In the East, they refer to breath work as Pranayam or Pranayama. In Sanskrit, prana means
life energy and yama means control or "rein". So, there is this beautiful additional component and acknowledgement of life-force energy when referring to conscious breath practice. We're not just breathing, we're pulling in vital life-giving energy with each breath.
How long does it take?
10 breaths. Seriously. Try taking 10 deep breaths and see how you feel. I usually suggest 3 minutes minimum for some of the breath techniques that I teach. If you can start your day with 11 minutes of breath work each day, you will feel great and the results will last throughout the day. I also use energizing breath techniques mid-day to beat that afternoon slump and calming breath techniques if I need help falling asleep. Below is a really great practice for ENERGY and here's a link to a short
video with instructions and 5 minute practice.