A simple breathe can make all the difference. In yoga we put so much emphasis on the breath, on listening to it, on controlling it and on being aware of it. It’s because the breath has a profound impact to the mind.
When we are faced with any intense emotion, the pattern of your breath responds first. In a fit of laughter we find ourselves gasping for air, in anger breathing speeds up and in fear the response is to hold your breath. It’s a two way street, we can also change our breathing pattern to improve our emotional state. That’s why a calming technique when dealing with anger is slow deep breaths. Yoga aims to change the outer layers (body and breath) to affect your deeper layers (thoughts and feelings).
Practicing the Proper Breathing on Yoga for Stress and Anxiety
Yoga has been introduced to help relieve the symptoms of anxiety and depression. There have been psychological studies conducted that shows practicing yoga 3 times a week for 6 months can improve the endorphin and serotonin levels in the brain, causing a happier and more balanced mood. So much so that after 6 months most participants of the study required a lower dosage prescription of anti-depressants.
Inhalations create a feeling of fullness and contentment. Take a long deep breath in and feel the expansion that takes place. On a psychological level, inhalations invigorate and energize. If you are feeling blue or depressed sit down for 10 minutes and focus on deeply breathing in and feeling new energy flow into you.
Exhalations create a feeling of release and surrender. Take a long slow breath out and feel the empting that takes place. On a psychological level, exhalations calm and relax. If you are feeling stressed or anxious sit down for 10 minutes and focus on slowly breathing out. You will feel your worries and agitation melt away, as you let go of your troubles your will feel the repressed energy release.
The power of the breath is in your hands, when you feel overwhelmed with stress or emotion; bring your attention back to your breath. Feel its soothing and calming effects. Simple deep and slow breathing will help you reach that place of equanimity within.