7 Easy Breathwork Exercises To Improve Your Physical & Mental Health

Author : Anup Sharma | Published On : 27 Aug 2021

The number of yoga practitioners have crossed 300 million globally and approximately 50% of them are from India. Since our way of life is giving us health issues and breathwork is the safest way to recover, the number of yoga and meditation practitioners are increasing with each passing day.

Still, some people miss out on breathing exercises as they are not aware of the easy breathing techniques. That’s why we decided to create this post to create awareness!

Easy breathwork exercises for health

Below breathing techniques will help you improve your mental and physical health.

Pursed Lip Breathing

One of the easiest breathwork exercises used to slow down the pace of breathing. This breathing technique is mostly used while doing activities including stairs climbing, weight lifting, and playing sports. It brings more oxygen to the lungs to calm down the body.

Follow below tips to practice this breathwork exercise in the right way:

  1. Relax your shoulder and neck muscles.
  2. Keep your mouth closed and inhale through your nose for 2 counts.
  3. Purse your lips as you are going to whistle.
  4. Exhale slowly for 4 counts to control your breath better.

Practice this breathing technique 4 to 5 times a day to correctly learn the pattern of breathing exercise.

Diaphragmatic Breathing

It is also known as belly breathing. While beginning to practice this breathing exercise, you might feel tired but after practicing it a couple of times, you will feel more relaxed. This breathing technique involves stomach, abdominal muscles, and diaphragm while breathing.

Below are the best ways to practice this breathing exercise perfectly:

  1. Lie down on your back with knees slightly bend and head on pillow
  2. Place one hand on your belly and second on your chest.
  3. Inhale through your nose for 2 seconds and feel your stomach move out.
  4. Exhale using pursued lisp and make sure your hands are completely still.

Diaphragmatic breathing can also be practiced while sitting on a chair with knees bent and shoulders, neck, and head relaxed.

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Lion’s Breath

Also known as Simha Pranayama or Lion Pose, this breathing exercise helps in boosting energy and alleviates stress from the body. Lion’s breathing has both physical and mental benefits on the practitioner by relieving tension from the face and chest.

Easy steps for practicing Lion’s breath:

  1. Sit in a comfortable position
  2. Lean forward slightly and place your hands on your knees or floor.
  3. Spread your fingers as wide as possible and inhale through your nose.
  4. Open your eyes and mouth wide with tongue out of your mouth.
  5. Exhale forcefully to make a long “ha” sound. 
  6. Repeat this breathing technique for upto 7 times.

Simha Pranayama clears out any pranic blockages.

Resonant Breathing

This form of breathing exercise involves taking slow breaths and is also known as Coherent breathing. This breathing technique is done when you inhale and exhale at a rate of 5 full breaths per minute. It maximizes the heart rate variability, reduces stress, and also helps in reducing the symptoms of depression.

Simple steps to practice Resonance breathing:

  1. Lie down on your back with eyes closed.
  2. Breathe through your nose for six seconds and make sure your mouth is closed.
  3. Exhale slowly for six seconds without forcing air to leave your body.
  4. Continue for up to 3-5 minutes at least

While practicing Coherent breathing, avoid filling your lungs too full of air.

Sitali Breath

It is also known as the cooling breath. This yoga breathing exercise helps in lowering the body temperature     and calms the practitioner's mind. Sitali breath is mostly practiced during summer months and hottest parts of the day to get rid of heat from the body.

To practice this breathing exercise follow below tips:

  1. Choose a comfortable seating position
  2. Bring your tongue out and curl it to bring the outer edges together.
  3. You can also purse your lips if you are struggling to bring outer edges of lips close.
  4. Inhale deeply through your mouth
  5. Exhale slowly through your nose.
  6. Continue this breathing technique for up to 5 minutes.

Sitali breath adds moisture to the system and soothes a pitta imbalance.

Humming Bee Breath

Also known as Bhramari pranayama, which accelerates the release of nitric oxide, which helps in metabolic processes at the cellular level. Humming bee breath affects ageing, reproduction, obesity regulation of body metabolism, and host defence. Some people also practice this breathing exercise to get relief from anger, anxiety, and frustration.

Just find a free space and follow below tips to practice this breathing technique:

  1. Sit up straight in a comfortable position 
  2. Close your eyes and relax your face
  3. Place your index fingers on the tragus cartilage that covers your ear canal.
  4. Inhale through the nose and gently press your fingers into the cartilage.
  5. Keep your mouth closed and make a loud humming sound 
  6. Practice this breathing technique as long as it is comfortable for you.

Box Breathing

It is practiced by athletes all over the world. Also known as four-square breathing, it is easy to learn and practice. You are already familiar with this breathing technique if you have ever noticed yourself inhaling and exhaling to the rhymes of a song. It is one of the powerful stress relievers.

Here are DIY tips to practice Box breathing exercise:

  1. Sit with your spine upright.
  2. Exhale all air from your lungs and close your eyes & mouth.
  3. Slowly inhale through your nose and count 1,2,3,4 in your mind.
  4. Hold your breath for your 4 seconds.
  5. Exhale slowly through your mouth.
  6. Repeat all steps until you feel re-centered.

This breathing exercise is very helpful in stressful times as it helps in calming the feelings of stress and anxiety.

Breathing techniques for beginners

The above breathing exercises will help you bring health and wellness to your life. Avoid eating heavy food and consuming alcohol before practicing these breathing techniques. Join a yoga retreat for beginners to get familiar with yoga poses.

Have questions in mind? Drop them in the comments to get a quick reply from yoga experts.