If you follow our trips for nailing your breathing technique, you’ll be a master of zen in no time.
The Skull Cleanser may sound like something you’d wish to do to your arch enemy but we use this term as it’s a lot easier than saying ‘Kapalabhati Breathing’. This is a cleansing breath exercise that causes your energy level to rise dramatically. With this technique, there is large emphasis placed on the exhale whilst you hold your arms straight up above your head in order to aid lymph circulation through the upper body.
Alternative nostril breathing. Okay, so it’s a lot more of a basic name than Skull Cleanser but we promise it’s still highly effective. This particular exercise can be helpful for those prone to bouts of anxiety as it takes focus and clarity to help prevent confusion and bring you back to the present moment. Practise this exercise by placing the three middle fingers in the palm of your right hand, making an old-school rock symbol. Place your right thumb over your right nostril and inhale through the left before placing your pinkie over left nostril to exhale through the right. Then repeat the exercise using the opposite hand and nostril.
The Ullayj technique is another tongue twister, but it’s also a must try. And it’s actually the most popular, as it’s the easiest to perform during physical practice. It’s a technique that can be used for calming both the mind and nervous system in tricky situations, even away from the mat. Just forgive yourself for sounding like the ocean, as that’s completely normal. Practice the Ullayj by simply inhaling and exhaling through your nose, take the breath deep along the back of your throat, almost creating a gentle hissing sound. Then, you should try to make each inhale last as long as the previous exhale, dragging each breath a little deeper than before.
Three Part Breathing. Pretty self-explanatory, right? This is a slow yet uber relaxing practice, perfect for people who suffer from stress, anxiety and sleepless nights, as it soothes the muscles whilst also calming the mind. Place one hand on your upper chest, resting the other hand on your navel. Inhale deep into your chest and then your upper abdomen. You should then puff your belly out like a big balloon, slowly releasing the breath in the same way.
The Breath of Fire technique will help release that inner dragon. It coined this term as the practice is very warming - great for helping to ignite the abdominal muscles and fantastic for detoxing. Firstly, you must sit tall, gently inhaling through your nose before energetically releasing the breath through your nose whilst simultaneously pulling in your navel. Probably not an exercise you’re going to want to try in public places but each to their own!
Bellows Breath can be just as useful as coffee and is the perfect way to shunt yourself back into life during that hump day feeling. Simply lift your hands, fists clenched or fingers splayed, whichever is the least conspicuous we guess, up into the sky and inhale through your mouth. With each exhale, drop your elbows down to your side and make a gentle “har” noise from the bottom of your diaphragm.