Do five or six rounds of steps 3–10, always starting with a full inhale through both nostrils using ujjayi. When inhaling, expand your belly and imagine the breath rising through your chest and raising your shoulders.
Notice how you feel after several rounds of this practice.
If you usually breathe shallowly and unconsciously you may feel a bit like you just had a workout. Your diaphragm muscles may feel a bit stressed. Or you may notice for the first time ever that you even have diaphragm muscles. If deep breathing is new to you, you could even feel a bit light headed from all that extra oxygen pouring into your system.
Don’t let this worry you. Regular practice will strengthen your lungs and and the muscles that support breathing. It will also help you enjoy good health and freedom from anxiety.
Take a Deep Breath
If you are someone who suffers from anxiety you may have had friends tell you to calm down and take a deep breath. If you followed their advice you probably felt relaxed and more able to deal with the stress.
Breathing is essential to keep you alive. If practiced consciously, it is also a powerful tool to manage anxiety.
When you focus on taking deep breaths you come fully into the present moment. There’s no way to breath either in the past or the future, where, if you are like many of us, you spend much of your time.
In the present moment you can step back and see your situation more clearly. Free from anxiety, you can make better decisions about what to do next. And breathing consciously can take you there.
Often, though, we breathe unconsciously and shallowly. When we do that, we deprive ourselves of the physical and mental benefits of fully using our lungs.
This is why practices like yoga have such a focus on breathing. If you’ve attended a yoga class you know how to take a full yogic breath. You learned to expand your belly and fill your lungs with enough air to raise your shoulders.
Pratiloma ujjayi takes this to the next level. And consistent practice can free you from anxiety while it strengthens muscles like the diaphragm that are required for effective breathing.
Stronger Lungs Mean Better Health
Do you suffer from breathing issues like asthma? Or perhaps digestive concerns, heart health problems, or depression? Are you often fatigued? Or do you wish you had more energy at the end of the day to do the things you love to do after a long day at work?
Regular practice of pratiloma ujjayi can help.
Studies show breathing practices like this help build your lung capacity beyond the estimated 40 percent most people use.
And deep breathing improves circulation, encourages toxin release, lowers anxiety and improves sleep. All of which promote a stronger immune system. Reduced blood pressure and a lower heart rate are other benefits.
As is the case elsewhere in our bodies, our lungs and the muscles that support breathing grow weak from lack of exercise. When this happens, we can suffer from a host of health issues from anxiety and depression to circulatory and digestive problems.
Which is why a practice like pratiloma ujjayi profoundly impacts all aspects of our health. And why the difference it makes will amaze you.
Start now to make it a regular part of your day.