Breathing Exercises - How to get started
I’m sharing the beginners exercise that I have received from my Life Mentor Coaches at Kamalaya Wellness resort in Thailand:
Pranayama is the “Science of Breath”, the control of the vital force (prana) in the air we breath. Pranayama consists of slow, regulated deep breathing, which helps to calm the mind, balance the emotions and reduce stress and anxiety.
Beginner Pranayama - Basic Ujjay Breathing
Most beneficial in the early morning or evening hours (on empty stomach)
Posture: Sit in a comfortable posture with a straight spine
Breathing: Deep inhalation and exhalation with complete focus on the breath. Inhale, hold your body breath and exhale in the given ratio at each stage.
How: Tilt your chin slightly down towards your chest and simultaneously open your shoulders and lift the upper part of your chest towards the chin. This is called the jalandhara band or throat lock.
Exhale the tidal air in the lungs completely and then slowly move into deep inhalation making the deep sound “SSSS” at the throat and then continue into exhalation making the deep sound “HHHHH” at the throat. When you exhale, you should feel the vibrations in your throat. There’s many YouTube videos available that teach the Ujjayi breath if you are not familiar with it. Continue 7-8 cycles inhaling and exhaling equally.
Now, you can start with the basic pranayama exercise:
For each stage, follow the breathing cycles for 3-4 minutes
Stage 1: Use the ratio of 1:2, extending exhalation to with the length of inhalation. For example, breath in with the count of 5, exhale to the count of 10.
Stage 2: Introduce the 3-part cycle: 1:1:1 - breath in, hold and breath out on equal counts
Stage 3: Introduce the ratio of 1:1:2 where you double the time of exhalation
When & Where: This breathing practice is best in the morning or in the evening hours. Make sure you are in clean surroundings. Create a relaxing atmosphere with gently music or anything else that you feel is appropriate.