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The 5 Best Yoga Breathing Exercises

Whether you are an advanced yogi or a beginner you can practice Pranayama, which is the regulation of the breath through certain techniques.

5 Pranayama Tecniques

Working with the breath is a yogic technique that can completely change your life.  Pranayama is a Sanskrit word that means “extension of the prana (breath or life force).” It also means, “breath control.” When you control the breath and consciously regulate the flow of life force within your body, amazing things can happen. Here are 5 of the best yoga breathing exercises that you can do on or off the yoga mat. Remember, you don’t have to be a yoga expert to give any of these exercises a try.

Lion’s Breath

Do you need a quick burst of energy? Lion’s breath should be your go-to exercise! This simple breathing exercise is also used to strengthen the fine muscles of the neck and face, making it a natural yogic face-lift. Lion’s breath is also a very simple it’s perfect for complete beginners or children.To begin, follow these steps:Exhale all of the air out of your lungs.Inhale deeply through your nose, tilt your head back slightly, and open your mouth super wide and stick your tongue out while exhaling loudly.Feel free to roar like a lion when exhaling! The audible release is what makes this breathing exercise powerful.Do you need a quick burst of energy? lion’s breath should be your go-to exercise! This simple breathing exercise is also used to strengthen the fine muscles of the neck and face, making it a natural yogic face-lift. Lion’s breath is also very simple it’s perfect for complete beginners or children.

The 4-7-8 Breath

The 4-7-8 Breath: is great for beginners and is very calming. It’s a great option for those who are prone to anxiety. To begin, sit or stand with your back straight. If you are able to sit down and elevate your hips above your knees with a blanket. You can also sit with your back against a wall if you really want to feel supported.While breathing in, keep your tongue poised just against the gum line on your front teeth, and be sure to inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth.Exhale completely making an audible sigh (you can exhale more quietly if you’re in public). Close your mouth. Inhale through the nose and count to four.Retain the breath and count to seven.Exhale through the mouth and count to eight. This completes one cycle of the breathing exercise. This powerful breathing exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system.

Alternate Nostril Breathing

Here is another common yogic breathing exercise. This breathing exercise is safe for yogis of all levels and ages, so it is a common addition to the beginning of many yoga classes. This breath is perfect for calming your nervous system while simultaneously giving you lots of energy. This breathing exercise clears the channels of the body and makes your brain perk up as if you just had a cup of coffee! For that reason, you probably do not want to practice it before bed.

Sit on a folded blanket or a pillow so that your hips are elevated above your knees and your back is aligned with it’s natural curves. You can sit against a wall for extra support.

Take your dominant hand and fold your middle finger and index finger down. Your hand will look a little bit like a “hang loose” sign.

Close one nostril with your thumb, then inhale deeply through the nose.

Pinch both nostrils shut using your thumb and other 2 fingers.

Retain the breath for just a moment (i use to count 4, then release the thumb and exhale completely.

Repeat this for up to 5 minutes if needed.

Ujjaayi Breath

If you have ever been to a Vinyasa yoga class, you have ikely heard the teacher mention ujjayi breathing. Perhaps you have even heard other students doing it! “Ujjayi” is a Sanskrit word meaning “the ocean breath.”

Both the exhale and inhale should be through the nose. Inhale deeper than usual. Exhale slowly and contract your throat muscles. The exhale should sound like a gentle “HAAAAH.” The breath should be so subtle it will likely only be audible to you.

Three-Part Breathing

This breathing exercise is beneficial for “insomnia, anxiety, stress, and frustrating situations.” It’s also very easy to practice both on and off the mat. Three-part breathing also calms your mind and muscles, so you can do it safely before bed.

Sit in a comfortable position or lay down in constructive rest with the knees bent. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly.

Inhale into your upper chest, and then expand the air into your belly. Your belly should feel like a big balloon.

Exhale from the belly first, then the upper lungs.

Repeat as needed. Be sure that the breath is smooth and comfortable.

Roll out your yoga mat!
Your yoga mat is a place to: explore, investigate, grow, love, laugh, accept ..and relax.
I’ll be on my mat if you need me, let me guide you. Choose your practice!

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