Wendy Chan from Yoga Seeds imparts valuable information about the high-stress levels in our daily lives.
It’s impossible to be completely stress-free. It’s everywhere- we face problems at work and even at home. But this seemingly innocent occurrence might actually be decreasing your lifespan!
Daily stress affects our physical, emotional and mental well-being. And not to mention how many waistlines stress-eating has been wrecking!
According to pulmonary physician Dr. Louis Libby, chores in the past that used human labour required people to use their diaphragms while breathing. But with our sedentary office lifestyles, our diaphragms often get unused for days. Using our diaphragms stimulate slower-paced and deeper breathing, therefore, increasing the amount of oxygen in our blood, improving relaxation and keeping our hearts healthy. Conscious breathing also helps you live longer!
Now let’s check the quality of your breathing rate. Close your eyes and count the number of breaths you take in 1 minute.
If you answered more than 10, your breaths are too sharp and fast- which means that you are facing some sort of stress. But don’t go running to the kitchen for that brownie yet. There is a way to let go of all that stress without having a single morsel. Read on to learn about this 2 minute breathing exercise suggested by Director of Yoga Seeds, Wendy Chan.
- First, sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes.
- Relax your body and begin breathing mindfully, focusing on each passing breath.
- Inhale for 3 counts, exhale for 3 counts.
- After a while, adjust your breathing: Inhale for 3 counts, exhale for 6 counts.
Your breaths will be much deeper after this exercise and your lungs will feel refreshed.
In order to relax the tension in your body, follow up your deep breathing exercise with these 3 simple stretches.
Improves concentration and releases tension is shoulders and back
- Put both your arms out in front of you. Now bend your right arm to a 90 degree angle and place your right elbow on top of your left elbow.
- Interlace your hands.
- Slightly arch your back up and focus on one point.
- Repeat with other hand.
Stretches and activates side body
- Sit up straight and turn your body to the right.
- Take your right hand and place it on the back of your chair as you twist your waist to face the back.
- Repeat on other side.
Relaxes ribs and chest
- Interlace your fingers behind your lower back and pull them back as you face upwards.
- Breathe into your chest
Ahhh, the cracking of those joints and the deep stretch of those muscles. You will be pleased to find that your muscles are much looser, and your breathing is much deeper. At this calm and relaxed state, feel free to test your breathing rate again by counting the number of breaths you take in one minute.
Ideally, conscious breathing requires us to take 10 or less long and deep breaths per minute. So add this short breathing exercise into your daily routine so that you can eventually take deeper breaths during the entire day without even realising it.