Research has shown that breathing more deeply and evenly on a regular basis lowers stress levels, cortisol and inflammation – all of which help keep skin from aging prematurely and breaking out. OK, so breathe deeper…but how?
Here are some helpful breathing techniques inspired by yoga that you can practice anytime (in the bath, in the office, stuck in traffic – or before bed)
5 Breathing Practices for Better Relaxation:
1. Observe Your Breath – By simply paying more attention to each inhalation and exhalation, you will breathe deeper and more evenly. It’s always a good idea to make sure your exhalations are a bit longer than your inhalations as they help to expel toxic, stale energy and make room for more oxygen!
2. Freeing The Exhale – Inhale greatly and pause a second or two, then exhale out your mouth all the way until there is nothing left in the lungs – then hold your breathe another 2 seconds before your next inhalation.
3. Sighing Breath – we do this alot in yoga class – sighing in the exhalation allows your mouth to completely relax and forces more stale air out of your lungs. the sound also triggers relaxation in the brain and allows the muscles to loosen up a bit more.
4. Lion’s Breath – Inhale greatly through your nose, and exhale greatly through your mouth – sticking out your tongue in the process. This stretches the mouth and tongue (a hard working muscle.) In yoga, this is actually called lions breath because you roar a bit while exhaling and make a lion’s face. This one should be done with some caution at work and in the car.
5. Ojai (oo-ji) Breath – Used throughout yoga practice, this breath is very cleansing for the body. Inhale greatly through the nose, then with your lips shut, exhale deeply up through the lungs and throat then through the mouth (but keep your lips closed.) When done properly, your breathing will make a noise similar to the sound a seashell makes when you hold it up to your ear – the sound of the ocean.