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Breathing Exercises To Maximize Meditation Practices

breathing exercises We are told that meditation and breathing exercises are great for the body and recovery, but what techniques are beneficial to helping relax best? Here are a list of breathing exercises that are guaranteed to help relax the mind, body, and spirit in 10 minutes or less.

Related: Headspace Meditation App (Itunes) or Headspace Meditation App (Google Play)

Breathing Exercises

Sama Vritti

This breathing exercise is also known as “equal breathing,” and it’s a great technique to help alleviate anxiety and stress.

How To: Through your nose, inhale and count to 4, and then while exhaling out your nose, count to another 4.  Do this as many times as it takes for you heart rate to decrease and your body to calm down.

Deep Abdominal Breath

Deep abdominal breathing exercises take some concentration and dedication to acknowledging your breath. It is best not to rush this process and really pay attention to your movements. This can be done while lying down, seated, or even standing.

How To: Place one hand on your belly and one on your chest. Take a nice long, deep breath in through your nose straight down into the diaphragm. Do not extend your chest, but rather fill your abdominal cavity with air. You will want to attempt 6-10 nice slow breaths per minute for 8-10 minutes.

Focused Relaxation

In this breathing exercise, you will be able to bring focus to each muscle group throughout your body so that total body relaxation can take place. This is an excellent exercise to do just prior to bed, but of course can be done at any time throughout the day.

How To: Close your eyes while lying on your back. If you have any back issues, prop a pillow under your knees to provide support and under your head/neck if needed. You are going to bring your attention to each muscle group on your body. Start with your toes, feet and ankles, and then move your way up to each muscle group throughout your body (calves, knees, thighs, etc…). The idea is to bring awareness to each group and let each muscle relax. You will notice that you might tense certain muscle groups more and will need to give extra attention to those parts. Continue all the way up to your face bringing awareness to your lips, jaw, cheeks, eyes, brows, ears, forehead, and eventually the scalp.

Visualized Breathing

A simple breathing exercise that can help replace negative thoughts and visions with positive, happy ones.

How To: While taking nice long breaths similar to the Sama Vritti exercise (which you can do anywhere from 4-8 seconds), visualize people, places, or things that you bring you peace, happiness, and joy. Do this exercise for at least 5 minutes and you might be surprised at how your whole attitude and thinking has been affected in a more positive way.

There are so many ways to meditate and help you relax so don’t be shy in exploring various techniques in order to find what works for you. Remember that mediation is a practice which means that there is no perfect way to do it, so enjoy the process and don’t forget to breathe throughout the day.

Do you have breathing exercises that works for you? Please feel to share with us in the comment feed below!

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