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Christmas is just around the corner and if you are like most people, the run up to Christmas Day is filled with extra duties and commitments. From work office parties, social link-ups with old friends and family gifts to buy, wrap and deliver it is easy to run yourself ragged, especially if you have to also fit in school nativity plays and last minute requests from clients. It is a time of great anxiety, stress and frustrations, made worse as the extra rounds of festive eating and drinking can dull your senses.
In today’s post, I will share with you three easy yoga breathing exercises which you can use at home with your family to release frustration and anxiety, and revitalise, replenish and reenergise your system. They are great fun and children/teen love them!
Benefits Of Yoga Breathing Exercises
In yoga, the breath is King. Your breath is your link between your body, mind and spirit and when you know how to control your breathe you have the best gift of all. The ability to calm, rest, energise your being, anytime anywhere and with no extra cost.
Learning how to master the way you breathe is the best gift ever.
If you are new to yoga breathing exercises, here is a quick run-down of some of the benefits of breathing correctly.
What Happens When You Breathe Correctly
1. Breathing allows you to draw oxygen into your body and eliminate toxins and bacteria that impact on your body’s ability to function correctly.
2. The slower and deeper you breathe, the more you allow oxygen to enter and flow through your body.
3. Deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which allows the rest and digest response to kick in, so your body gets flooded with all the feel-good-lets-relax hormones-as opposed to the fight and flight stress hormones which generally run the show.
4. Lung capacity expands which helps to stimulate and open up your heart centre.
Breathing Correctly Can Help You To
1. Reduce negative effect of distress and stress
2. Soften aches and pains in the body
3. Relives stomach disorders
4. Get a good night’s sleep
5. Boost energy and reduce fatigue
With all these positive and potentially life-saving benefits, it makes sense to learn how to use your breathe to rebalance and realign your energy.
With the run up of Christmas and potential arguments with inlaws, here are three simple breathing exercises for you to practice and have fun with doing with your family, to release frustration and build up of excitement. In fact, make it a party game. See who can sit still the longest and remain calm the longest after doing the breathing exercises.
1. The Lion Roar
A favourite with children! The Lion Roar is excellent to release frustration and pent up energy…ideal when you come home from all that Christmas shopping or on Christmas Day when your children are extra hyper.
Sit in a comfortable position, scrunch your face up, like a dried up prune.
Open your eyes look upward.
Open your mouth, stretch out your tongue and Roarrrrrrrrrrr like an angry lion.
Repeat 3 times.
Remain seated a few minutes smiling and enjoying the release of energy.
2. The Humming Bee Breath
perfect to calm, balance and quieten your thoughts, great to do, when the clock is ticking and you feel anxious and panicky that you won’t get everything down in time. Ideal also to practice with your children.
Sit in a comfortable position, relax your shoulders and soften your jaw.
Take a gentle breath in and slowly breathe out. Repeat 3-5 times.
Close your eyes, make sure mouth is gently closed (not locked tight) and slowly breathe in through your nose, and as you breathe out, pretend you are a humming bee and make a long humming sound as you breathe out…hummmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
Make the hummmmmmmmmmmmmm sound as long and deep as possible.
Feel the sound vibrate through your throat and “tickle” your lips.
Take a slow steady in-breath and repeat 3-5 times.
Remain seated, eyes closed and tune into the sensations and energies flowing through the body.
When you are ready open your eyes. Take your time before reengaging with your day.
3. The WoodChopper
(Avoid if you suffer from back pain)
Another firm favourite which I love to teach to children, the Woodchopper really helps you to get stuff off your chest. It has a warming effect on your body and releases tension throughout your system.
Stand with your feet hip slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Bend your knees slightly and keep them soft and slightly bent throughout the exercise.
Clasp your hands together, interlace your fingers, take a deep breath in, and raise your arms above your head (keeping hands clasped together).
Lean back slightly, whilst focusing on a point at eye level in front of you.
Bending from the hip joints, exhale and allow the arms to swing forward and down as if you are chopping wood, and pass through your open legs. Make the Ha! Sound as you swing your arms down and through your open legs.
Swing the body upright and repeat 3-5 times.
Keep the movement soft and fluid and return your gaze to the same fixed point between each swing.
Try all three; get the whole family involved, children and teens love the woodchopper and the humming bee breath always ends up with them seeing who can hummmm the longest!
And now, I’d love to know which yoga exercise your family enjoyed the most and difference it made to way you all got on. Share your thoughts in the comment box below.
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More Breathing Exercises To Overcome Stress And Anxiety