By Jen Munden
How do you experience stress? Maybe there’s tightness, feeling heavier or instability. For the majority of us we’re most likely to adopt a faster heart rate and quicker pace of breath, so let’s try and ground these back down with pranayama - the practice of controlling the breath during yoga.
1. 4 in, 5 out
Find a seat and move your head back into the space, this will create a clearer path to breathe. Slowly breathe in through the nose for a count of 4, and slowly release your exhale for a count of 5. You want to keep your exhale longer than the inhale, this will help stabilise your breath and help you feel more grounded.
2. Balloon belly
You will have heard me lead this breath often in class. Find a comfy position, sitting or lying down and place your palms gently on your belly. Close your eyes, and begin to visualise air filling up your belly as you send your breath down, just like a balloon. Allow the exhale to be nice and slow.
3. Wave breath
Find a comfortable position, but this is also really nice lying down with legs elevated on a chair or wall. Place one hand on your heart, the other on the stomach. Think of breathing in 3 smooth waves, 1st wave moves into the stomach, 2nd into the lower ribs, 3rd into the chest. Exhale in a reverse wave or in one slow release.
You can follow these breathing practices for 1-2 minutes or however long it takes to help decrease any stresses!