Are you breathing properly? The importance of a morning breathing practice is needing to become a new habit if you need lifestyle change due to stress. Starting your morning off with the best of intentions can easily set you up for the rest of the day. At Lifestyle Studio I like to unite mind, body and soul for ultimate wellbeing so when I hear on a regular basis from new clients that they are in constant battle with being overworked, feeling anxious, tired, stressed and generally feeling unwell, the first thing I want to do to get their body out of fight or flight is teaching them to breathe. 90% of us are simply not breathing properly through being so tense and always being on the fast track. So let’s start our morning off in the slow lane and in order to feel energised and refreshed in the morning, the simplest way is to wake up and breathe properly!
The importance of breath
Breathing keeps you alive each day, however, it is often taken for granted or overlooked. It is possible to bring breathing under your conscious control through taking up a yoga practice where breathing exercises are taught known as pranayama. Pranayama, one of the eight limbs of yoga, refers to breathing techniques that increase integration between mind and body. By connecting with your breath, you are also connecting to a universal energy. Just by engaging in these exercises it is possible to enhance your mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing. It is often said that your mind and breath mirror each other, and with a turbulent mind leads to a disturbed breath. Therefore, by regulating your breath you have control over both your physical and emotional state.
Just by changing your breathing pattern it is possible to restore balance to your stress response system in the following ways:
- Minimises anxiety and depression
- Increases energy levels
- Increases relaxation
- Enhances mental concentration
The practice of breathing
There are many different types of pranayama exercises, each having different benefits. I will discuss all these in another blog, but the most important thing to remember is when you wake up in the morning before you get up lay still for 5 minutes and practice deep breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Awaken all your senses and fill the lungs with oxygen.
You can also do this before you go to bed to relax your busy mind and calm the nervous system.
It is recommended to perform 5-10 minutes of pranayama (breath work) in the morning and evening. Pranayama begins to focus attention inward and is the perfect way to transition into meditation. It is important to make sure you are in a quiet room and to start off slow with just a one-minute exercise until your body adjusts enabling you to build up to a longer exercise. It is ok if you experience physical or emotional sensations as you are working on opening up channels of energy.
Importance of a morning practice
There is something pure about this part of the day, the air is still and all of nature is preparing for a new day. You are also ready for renewal, the more you tune into this energy the more it will help you to set the tone for a positive day. Start your morning by developing a routine which incorporates breathing exercises to help enliven your spirit,
Morning breathing exercise – Complete belly breath
- Place one hand on your belly to relax the abdominal muscles
- Slowly inhale through the nose, feeling your abdomen rise
- On the same inhale, feel the rib cage expand outward as the breath moves upward until the collar bones rise
- Pause for a moment, then exhale out of the mouth from the top of your lungs toward the bottom
- At the end of the exhalation, draw your belly button toward your spine, pushing any residual air out of the bottom of your lungs
At Lifestyle Studio, we offer Yoga classes on Monday evening at 7pm and Tuesday morning at 9.30am and 11am. These are small classes in a beautiful light studio looking out onto a Zen garden to if you would like to book a place please contact Lifestyle Studio if you would like to book.