YOGA SESSIONS WITH IYUN
Rise above the uncertainty and negative energy and use this period to learn how yoga can help to feel well and positive about the future. Iyun has a few tips to share.
BREATHING THINGS TO HELP YOU STAY WELL-BALANCED DURING THE LOCKDOWN
Nothing rouses anxiety as much as panic. And at the moment, the world is overdosing on panic with quick spread of a virus that fast became a pandemic. Businesses are shut down and we're stuck at home doing very little which has opened us up to worrying constantly. Since there's not much you can do to change what's going on the outside, it's better to focus on the inside, you, your body and your mind.
Our parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) is responsible for keeping us calm. Yoga breathing techniques have been confirmed to stimulate ONE and create more tranquillity in the body. When you inhale, you speed up your heart rate and it slows down when you exhale.
Here are three breathing exercises that can help you deal with your anxiety during this lockdown.
Basic Breath Awareness
Some people also refer to it as conscious breathing as it helps you draw deep and conscious breath.
Start by lying on your back, knees bent. Put your hand (palm) on your stomach and pay attention to your breath. Relax your body, and inhale, taking a pause before exhaling. Continue until your breath is in sync with your body. Also, as you inhale, expand your abdomen and contract as you exhale. Do this repeatedly for about 10 -15 breaths. One breath consists of one inhalation and one exhalation.
The Cooling Breath
Known as Sitali/Pranayama in Sanskrit, the cooling breath is the act of drawing through your tongue and releasing it through your nostrils. To do this, you must be able to curl your tongue in a C shape to draw the air in.
Start by sitting comfortably on a chair or the floor with your spine erect. Lower your chin slightly, curl your tongue, slightly projecting it out your mouth then inhale gently through your tongue. At the end of the inhalation, slowly retract your tongue into your mouth and then exhale through your nostrils as you return your chin to a level position.
Repeat for 8 to 10 breaths.
This is a breathing technique that involves exhaling for twice the length of your inhalation. This breathing Long exhale technique has been known to reduce anxiety and insomnia and is best done before bedtime.
Lie on your back, knees bent, feet apart. Place your hand on your abdominal region and take a couple of relaxed breaths. Count the number of seconds of each inhalation and exhalation in your head. Gradually increase the length of your exhalation by one or two seconds. Once your breathing becomes relaxed, increase it by one two seconds more. Continue to do this until the length of exhalation is twice the length of inhalation. For example, if your inhalation is comfortably three seconds, make sure your exhalation doesn't exceed six seconds. An exhalation slightly longer than your inhalation will produce a calming effect on your body but if you push harder than you should, you might activate your stress hormone instead.
So, if at any point your breath feels uncomfortable, go back to more comfortable ratio for about 5 breaths. Then finish off with 8 to 10 natural breaths.
IyunAde is a yogi on a journey to connecting with the truest parts of herself through her practice and hopes to share whatever knowledge she acquires along the way.