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Just Breathe

Just Breathe

Breathing. So important, but you knew that. We take between 17,280 and 23,040 breaths a day! Often without a second thought, just an unconscious action we take. 

The power of breath is pretty amazing though. Acknowledging our breath and taking a minute to slow it down, taking longer and slower breaths, has a raft of benefits from slowing your heart rate to creating a sense of calm. 

In moments of stress, panic, anger or anxiety becoming conscious of our breath and slowing it down helps us to better manage our emotions. Focusing on our breathing during exercise can help us push through challenging periods and provide motivation while also, of course, being great for blood flow. 

If you have taken a yoga or meditation class you’ve more than likely explored this in one way or another. I know for me though, as soon as I walk out of class I completely forget about the idea of taking note of my breath and just ‘get on with my day’, bringing the breathing we learn in those classes into our everyday life can be so beneficial. A mini meditation while we wait in traffic, a slowing down to relax and calm our brain when we’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, just breathing through your toddlers tenth tantrum for the day or your newborns overtired cry instead of reacting or letting in to frustration. It doesn’t have to be long just a couple of minutes of being conscious of our breath is a beautiful and simple way to bring our mind into the present moment, to check in with ourselves and to create a feeling of calm. 

Here are three breathing exercises you can try

Relaxing Breath

Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Your eyes can be open or closed. Press the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth, slightly open your mouth, and exhale until you reach the bottom of your breath.
Close your mouth and quietly inhale through your nose for 4 counts. Then hold your breath for 7 counts. Finally, exhale very slowly so that it takes a total of 8 counts to return to the bottom of your breath.

Equal Breathing 

Begin by sitting or lying down in a comfortable position. Your eyes can be open or closed. Inhale for 4 counts, and then exhale for 4 counts.
All inhalations and exhalations should be made through your nose, which adds a slight, natural resistance to your breath. Once you get these basics down, try 6–8 counts per breath.

Abdominal Breathing

Place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Take a deep breath in through your nose, allowing diaphragm (not your chest) to inflate with enough air to create a slight stretching sensation in your lungs. Slowly exhale.

According to physiologist and breathing expert Alison McConnell, taking 6–10 deep, slow breaths per minute for 10 minutes each day using this breathing technique can help reduce your heart rate and blood pressure.

Breathe easy beauties. 

With love, 

The Wellness Collective. 

Do you have something to share in the wellness space? We would love to hear from you! Email hello@thewellnesscollective.co.nz

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