Breathe your way to better health

Can the way you breathe improve your wellbeing? Stuart Sandeman, founder of Breathpod, reveals the techniques that can help

Breathe your way to better health

by Hope Brotherton |

Be aware

How are you breathing right now? Pause and focus on your breath. If it’s short and shallow, then slow it down — breathe through your nose and deep into your torso.

Breathe optimally

The diaphragm is your primary breathing muscle. Diaphragmatic breathing helps you relax, decreasing your heart rate and blood pressure, while improving your core stability. Lie on the floor with your hands on your stomach and breathe into your hands for a count of five. Then breathe out through the nose for five.

If in doubt, breathe it out

This powerful, stress-busting breath activates your parasympathetic or ‘rest-digest’ response, lowering your heart rate and slowing down your racing thoughts. Simply breathe out for twice as long as you breathe in. Try breathing in for four, holding for four, and breathing out for eight.

Find your flow

Box breathing balances the autonomic nervous system. It can lower your blood pressure, calm you down, lift your mood and leave you motivated and alert. Breathe in for four, hold for four, breathe out for four, hold for four. Repeat.

Get focused

This is a super-effective way to restore balance, relax your mind and body, and bring you into alignment. Breathe in through your left nostril for four, then out through your right for four, then in through your right for four, then out through your left for four. Repeat.

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