Deep breathing is a critical piece of maintaining good health. It helps to relieve a range of stress-related symptoms, such as anxiety, panic attacks, and irritability. Breathing exercises is something you can practice any time you feel the need. In fact, signing and yawning are signs that your body isn’t getting enough oxygen; the sigh or yawn is your body’s way of righting the situation. The following deep breathing techniques are modeled after yogic breathing exercises. Deep breathing increases the levels of oxygen to your organs, calms the nervous system, helps to keep your mind clear, relaxes the small arteries, and permanently lowers blood pressure.
Lie down on a mat or on your bed. Take slow, deep,rhythmic breaths through your nose. When your abdominal cavity is expanded, it means that your lungs have filled completely, which is important. Then, slowly exhale completely, watching your abdomen collapse again. Repeat 6-10 times. Practise this morning and night.
Extended abdominal breathing
Extended abdominal breathing is a variation of the above. When your abdomen expands with air, take three more short inhalations. Then, after you’ve exhaled in one long breath, don’t inhale yet. Try three more short exhales.
Stand with feet apart (about shoulder width), bend the knees slightly, bend forward, exhale completely, and brace your hands above the knees. Then lift the abdomen upward while holding your exhalation. Your abdomen should look concave. Stand erect again and inhale just before you feel the urge to gasp.
Rapid abdominal breathing
This is abdominal breathing done at a fast speed, so it feels as though your inhalations and exhalations are forceful and powerful. Try to do this 25-100 times. Each breath should last only a second or so, compared to the 10-20 seconds involved in regular deep abdominal breathing.
Alternate nostril breathing
Hold one nostril closed, inhaling and exhaling deeply. Then alternate nostrils. This breathing exercise is often done prior to meditation. It is thought to balance the left and right sides of the brain.