As a busy working girl your life is complete. There are bills to pay, clothes to wash, dreams to pursue, possibly children to care for, work projects to finish and me-time into fit-in.
Inner Calm in Storm
With all these activities and tasks to complete in a day, how do you mange to remain calm and stress-free. During the course of your day, there’ll be occasions when you are feeling frustrated, angry, overwhelmed and possibly lonely.
Sometimes, the complete glory of life hits you right in the face and you don’t know what to do. Maybe you’re going through a challenging time in your relationship and you feel tired and low on energy, or your child may be being bullied at school and you wonder how best to support him through this.
When you are feeling overwhelmed and worried about work or personal things, what can you do to keep the gremlins at bay and stay focused, creative and optimistic? How can you keep your sense of inner calm and tranquility with so many opposing and contradictory demands made on your time?
Yoga Breathing Exercises (Pranayama)
Your breath is your connection to improved health, emotional stability and well-being. Learning how to breathe properly is crucial to help keep you balanced and calm. Ancient yoga philosophy says we’re all born with a fixed number of breaths – thus, it is sensible to use the breath we’ve efficiently.
Practice the following three fundamental yoga breathing exercises anytime throughout your day, when you are feeling stressed, tired or exhausted. Better yet, why not try waking up a couple of minutes before, choosing a breathing practice and trying it out before you participate with your day. This way you begin the day on a much clearer and more concentrated way.
Three Basic Breathing Exercises To Beat Stress
While yoga breathing exercises, be gentle, respect and listen to your body. If you feel uncomfortable, stop the exercise and return to normal breathing.
1. Counted Breath
Sit comfortably, with a great straight back and your feet firmly resting on the ground, close your eyes and take a long continuous breath in through your nose and breathe out through your nose. Do this for 3 more times as it can help to calm and clear your mind. Next breathe in slowly for a count of three and breathe out for a count of six. Repeat this sequence of breathing for 3 and out for 6 to 3 – 7 rounds. Slowly open your eyes and be conscious of how calm and relaxed you feel.
2. Rainbow Breathing
Sit in a comfortable position, with your spine straight and body relaxed. Close your eyes and visualise a rainbow. See all seven colors of the rainbow. Choose any colour or combination of colours from the own rainbow. Imagine slowly breathing in this colour/s through your nose and slowly out it. Allow each breath to slowly deepen and travel through your body. Feel the tension in your body leave you as breathe your color in and around and through your body. Continue with this exercise until you feel ready to get up and reconnect with your day.
3. Deep Yogic Breathing
Either sit, arms relaxed, nice straight back and feet resting firmly on the floor or lie down on your bed. Place your right palm on your lower abdomen as well as your left palm in your upper chest, just below your collar bones. Sit in through your nose and as you do this, consciously concentrate on sending your breath out of your right hand to your left hand, know about the hands lifting on the in-breath and gradually lowering on breathe. Repeat this profound yogic breathing for 3 – 7 times, each time, allowing the breath to be thicker and fuller.
From private training and experience, I find that the Deep Yogic Breathing Exercise especially helpful to help me relax in nighttime. When I go to bed, I lie on my bed, put my hands in place and breathe slowly and deeply; my focus in my hands, moving up and down with every breathe, until I fall asleep. Try it and see how it works for you.
As you practice these breathing exercises, you’ll find your favourite exercise. Stick with it and see what difference it makes to your mood.