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How to reduce overwhelm and anxiety through breathing techniques

Pranayama is the control and regulation of the breath allowing Prana (life) to circulate through the nerves, cells and energetic systems of the body.

When the breath holds our awareness, our mind calms. A breath awareness practice moves us into a neutral state allowing us to cleanse and purify, and our inner awareness to grow.

Benefits of breath awareness practice include:

  • Calming the mind
  • Toning the lungs
  • Assisting with elimination and detoxification
  • Improving blood circulation
  • Improving your concentration
  • Relieving stress, depression, and hypertension.
  • Can help with curing asthma, headaches, migraines, neurological problems, depression, gastric problems.
  • Releasing anxiety
  • Improving sleep

Using breath awareness practices for stress, anxiety and depression

When it comes to coping with stress overload, your breath is one of the best remedies there is—and it's free! Box breathing (also known as four-square breathing) is a powerful, yet simple, relaxation technique that accesses the para-sympathetic nervous system and allows the mind to quieten and the body to relax.

This beginners box breathing technique can be completed anywhere at anytime. However to really maximise the benefits I recommend finding a comfortable seated position and allow the spine to lengthen, the shoulders are the jaw to relax.

Feel your awareness come to the breath and for a moment just notice how you are breathing. Slowly allow the inhale to deepen into the lower belly, the exhale to lengthen, while allowing the breath to remain calm – do not force the breath.

After three calm, relaxed and deep inhales and exhales, the following breath technique can be started:

  • Allow the awareness to come to the inhale
  • Inhale for 3 counts…. Hold your breath for 1 count…. Exhale for 4 counts….. Hold for 1 count
  • Inhale for 4 counts…. Hold your breath for 1 count…. Exhale for 5 counts….. Hold for 1 count
  • Inhale for 4 counts…. Hold your breath for 1 count…. Exhale for 6 counts….. Hold for 1 count
  • Inhale for 4 counts…. Hold your breath for 1 count…. Exhale for 7 counts….. Hold for 1 count
  • Inhale for 4 count……. Hold your breath for 1 count…. Exhale for 6 counts….. Hold for 1 count
  • Inhale for 4 counts…. Hold your breath for 1 count…. Exhale for 5 counts……. Hold for 1 count
  • Inhale for 3 counts…. Hold your breath for 1 count…. Exhale for 4 counts….. Hold for 1 count
  • Release the awareness of the breath & allow the body to just be for a moment, the breath to be wherever it wants to be.

Bring your palms to heart centre, allow the intention of gratitude to flow through your body.

Release and repeat as many times as needed throughout the day.

Combining essential oils with breathing techniques for overwhelm, stress and anxiety

Aromatherapy has been used since ancient times to promote the feeling of calm and relaxation. When overwhelm or anxiety starts to enter the body, you can apply the CALM essential oil blend to your pulse points and the palms of your hand, inhale and then come back to your breathing technique.

When essential oils and the breathing technique are used together, they harmonise beautifully and I personally find the overwhelm just melts away. I come back to myself and my sanity!

Yoga & Oils – Spade to Spoon is a Yoga studio in Te Awamutu, New Zealand. They create healing essential oil blends, diffuser bracelets & Mala's, all made with love and the intention to bring calm, balance and peace into your life.



 

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