This post is part of the 2017 A-Z Challenge. Woot!
Yesterday I posted about why I am rebooting my blog, and focusing on living a simple/happier life.
One of the ways I clawed my way out of the dark hole that is depression was with a mix of gentle yoga and meditation.
With the meditation, I started with guided meditations. With the yoga, I started with youtube videos – specifically the restful/relaxing/stretching/sleeping ones.
In both cases, there were a lot of times when they asked me to stop and focus on my breathing. To take longer, deeper breaths. To breathe into my belly.
Here’s the kicker: it worked. However agitated, miserable, angry, anxious and exhausted I felt — and trust me, I got pretty miserable — whenever I took the time to breath slowly and focus on my breath I got a tiny little mood boost. At the start that maybe only took me from ‘deeply miserable and angry’ to ‘sad and irritated’ but it was still a boost.
Breathing is a reminder that you are alive. It’s also, to me, a reminder that everything changes. Nothing is static. Even when you try and hold yourself completely still, your lungs and heart and thus your body is in motion.
A few breathing techniques
On a very basic level, slow your breathing down.
Lying on the floor feels nice. Try placing a hand on your belly and feel it rise and fall with your inhale and exhale.
Try inhaling through your nostrils for 3 seconds (count slowly), hold your breath for 2 seconds, and then exhale slowly through your mouth for 4 seconds.
Alternatively, try some yoga breathing exercises, there’s a great set of Pranayama videos to watch at Yoga with Adriene.
You got this.