Breathing techniques to kickstart your morning

Breathing techniques to kickstart your morning


There's power in the breath!  It’s no secret that breathing gives us life, energy and vitality.  But often we are just breathing without even really thinking about it.  Imagine if we were to give each breath intention and purpose, and really made each breath count.  Imagine how we would feel!  Energized, focused, calm and in control.  We can take inspiration from yoga and take our pranayama practice off the mat.  So how can we harness the power of the breath as part of our morning routine to really kick start our day?  



These three practices help to cleanse the body of toxins, increase oxygen levels in the body, renew energy and help you to feel focused.  Perfect for practicing first thing in the morning to get your day off to an active start!  These breath work practices should be practiced gradually, starting off slow and building up over time.  Stay aware of your body and if sensations arise which make you uncomfortable, return back to your natural pattern of breath.


Ujjayi Pranayama

  1. Sit quietly with a long spine and relaxed shoulders.  Bring awareness to the breath and sit for a few moments simply observing the breath.
  2. As you breath in and out of the nose, create a slight contraction at the back of the throat.  Imagine as if you are frosting up a glass, but keeping the mouth closed.  There should be no tension or force, keep the breath relaxed.  
  3. Practice a few rounds of this deep breathing, creating the soft sounds of oceanic waves through each inhale and exhale. 
  4. Return back to your natural pattern of breathing and sit and observe for a few moments before you carry on with your day.

Kapalbhati 

  • Sit comfortably with a long spine and relaxed shoulders.  Bring awareness to the breath and sit for a few moments simply observing the breath.
  • Take a full breath in and a full breath out, keeping the mouth sealed.
  • Take a short inhale and then forcefully exhale the breath from the body through the nose.  The next inhale is a passive action caused by the forceful exhale.  As you exhale draw the navel in to the spine, contracting through the abdomen.
  • Take ten rounds of this breath.  Pause return to normal breath and observe the effects in the body, and then repeat for two more rounds if it feels okay to do so.

  • Bhastrika

    1. Sit comfortably with a long spine and relaxed shoulders.  Bring awareness to the breath and sit for a few moments simply observing the breath.
    2. Start to increase the pace of the breath making each inhale and exhale short and sharp through the nose, keeping them equal length. 
    3. Inhale and exhale rapidly expanding the chest and the abdomen 
    4. After ten breaths, take a pause to return back to your normal rhythm of breath, observe any changes in the body.  Repeat two more rounds of ten breaths if it feels okay to do so.

    After any breathwork practice try to take a few moments to observe any subtle differences in the breath or energy levels.  Then settle into this abundance of new energy you have created and get ready to face your day!

     

    Written by Donna Edwards

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