Yogic Breathing to De-Stress

What is the first thing you do, when you are tired and stressed at work? Don’t you sigh or take a deep breath? Instinctively, we all take deep breaths and sigh when we are stressed. Doesn’t that indicate that breathing techniques go a long way to help you de stress.

Breathing is a natural process. The first thing you did as soon as you are born is trying to breathe. You would’ve observed how an infant automatically breathes swelling up his abdomen and ribs like a small balloon. But as we grow up, we develop inefficient breathing habits.

People believe that there are basically three types of breathing

  • Low or abdominal breathing – breathing with the diaphragm and abdominal muscles. When you breathe in, the abdomen extends (as if you were pregnant). When you breathe out, it deflates.
  • Middle breathing – lower ribs expand forward and to the sides with each breath. To see if you breathe from the middle, place your fingers along your ribs and breath. Do your fingers move with each breath?
  • High or upper chest breathing – short, rapid, shallow breaths originate from this area. This is how smokers and corset wearers breathe.

But that’s not the real way of breathing. This is –

  • Imagine your abdomen to be a balloon inflating from your abdomen into your rib cage. Now control – hold. As you inhale count till 10 and hold till 5-10 counts, now exhale with 10 counts.
  • When you want to de-stress, slow your breaths to 1-2 breaths per minute. Lie flat on your back. Do not concentrate on anything else apart from your breath. And take deep breaths as directed above.
  • That’s the Yogic formula of de-stressing.

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