BREATHING TO MANAGE STRESS & ANXIETY

BREATHING TO MANAGE STRESS & ANXIETY

Stressed? Anxious? Fatigued? 

This year has definitely added a little more stress to everyday life. COVID-19, politics, social distancing, and uncertainty leave us all navigating unchartered territories. With the holiday season approaching, the typical holiday stress will soon be added to the mix.

So we thought we would offer you something powerful, simple, and extremely effective to help your overall emotional and mental well-being, as well as give a boost to the immune system...a breathwork pratice to help manage stress and calm the nervous system.

Adriane, of WTF Empire, is yoga instructor and breathwork coach. She has worked with a wide range of people, including athletes and women with PTSD and anxiety disorders.  She has but together a 4 week Breath work series. Each week you will get access to her simple breathing exercises. You can do these short exercises from the comfort of your home, whether first thing in the morning, during the day or at night before bed (or all of the above). Each weekly exercise will be progressive, and allow you to learn to deepen and developing your breath even more.

 

Week 1: Beginners Breath Work Practice

In today's practice we will focus on an inhale and build a longer exhale, (the part of the breath that activates our parasympathetic nervous system. Rest and digest). 
I do want you to lie down because lying down helps the nervous system start to calm down.
 
Here is what the practice will look like. I encourage you to count the number of breaths on your hands. Keep your breath controlled and steady. 
Inhale:Exhale
4:4 - 4 breaths 
(4 second inhale : 4 second exhale)
4:6 - 4 breaths 
(4 second inhale : 6 second exhale)
4:8 - 4 breaths
(4 second inhale : 8 second exhale)
4:4 - 4 breaths 
(4 second inhale : 4 second exhale)
 
There you go!  That was it. How do you feel? You can do a quick scan of your body and then your mind and just make note of any changes. 
 
Breath is a powerful tool. Try this breath ratio (the structure of the above practice) throughout the week. Counting the length of the breath helps you stay focused and gives you a focus to return to when your mind starts wandering, which it inevitably will :)

Week 2: Breath Work Practice

In today's practice we will focus on an inhale and build a longer exhale, as well as add in a bit of breath retention (holding at the top of your inhale) and suspension (holding at the bottom of your exhale).

 #1 : 4 Rounds of 4:2:4:2 Breathing before you move on 

  • Inhale: 4, Retain: 2, Exhale: 4, Suspend: 2 - 48 seconds total

#2 - 4 Rounds of Breathing 4:2:6:2 before you move on

  • Inhale: 4, Retain: 2, Exhale: 6, Suspend: 2 - 56 seconds total

#3 - 4 Rounds of Breathing 4:2:8:2 to finish up 

  • Inhale: 4, Retain: 2, Exhale: 8, Suspend: 2 - 58 seconds total

After you've finished, take not of how you feel mentally and physically. Maybe even journal how you feel.

Stay tuned for next week!