Looking for some easy beginner breath work? These three playful and simple breath work exercises will help you step into the power of breath work.
Growing up, I never learned what nervous system regulation even was. When I first started doing breath work, it was very challenging for me because my body existed in a lot of fight or flight responses, leaving my breath to be very shallow and almost in a panic-like state most of the time. I’d often wake up short of breath and stressed out. But ever since becoming a yoga teacher and building safety back in my body, I now regularly use the power of these easy breath work exercises to help me feel calm and relaxed in my body.
While our feelings of anxiety, stress, and panic can be symptoms of larger underlining emotional situations, breathwork can come into be a supportive foundation as you seek to get support around your experiences. Unveiling what our body is communicating through our symptoms/experiences is the first step into full healing and must be done from a calm state, which is why I love how easy breath work is. Let’s jump in!
In the video and text below, I want to share some simple and playful breathing exercises that you can do to regulate your nervous system. These techniques are perfect for beginners and families, providing a fun and effective way to find calm and relaxation amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life. So, let’s dive into three types of breathwork: Ocean Breath, Alternate Nostril Breath, and Humming Bee Breath.
Easy Beginner Breath Work: Ocean Breath
Ocean Breath, also known as the Breath of the Ocean or Ujjayi breath in yoga, is a calming and soothing technique that helps you find a sense of peace and stillness. It’s a breath you can use anytime and anywhere to reconnect with yourself.
Steps to Practice Ocean Breath:
- Find a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down.
- Close your eyes and take a deep breath in through your nose, filling your lungs and expanding your belly.
- Exhale through your mouth, creating a gentle “ha” sound like you’re fogging a mirror. Feel the warm breath leaving your body.
- Continue this deep, rhythmic breathing, focusing on the sound and sensation of the breath.
Benefits of Ocean Breath:
- Relieves stress and anxiety
- Calms the mind and promotes relaxation
- Enhances concentration and mindfulness
- Improves lung capacity and oxygen intake
- Encourages a sense of inner peace and balance
Calming Beginner Breath Work: Alternate Nostril Breath
Alternate Nostril Breath, also called Nadi Shodhana or Anulom Vilom, is a balancing breathwork technique that harmonizes the left and right sides of the brain. It promotes mental clarity and emotional stability, making it ideal for stress reduction and family bonding.
Steps to Practice Alternate Nostril Breath
- Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes.
- Using your dominant hand, place your right thumb on your right nostril and your ring finger on your left nostril.
- Gently close your right nostril with your thumb and inhale through your left nostril for a count of three.
- Pause briefly at the top of the inhale.
- Close both nostrils with your thumb and ring finger, holding the breath for a count of four.
- Release your thumb from the right nostril and exhale through the right side for a count of six.
- Inhale through the right nostril for three counts, then hold for four counts.
- Exhale through the left nostril for six counts.
- Repeat this cycle for several rounds, focusing on the breath and the sensation of air moving through each nostril.
Benefits of Alternate Nostril Breath:
- Balances the nervous system
- Improves focus and concentration
- Reduces anxiety and stress
- Enhances energy flow and vitality
- Creates a sense of harmony and balance in the body and mind
Playful Beginner Breath Work: Humming Bee Breath
Humming Bee Breath, also known as Bhramari Pranayama, is a fun and playful beginner breathwork technique that engages the vocal cords and creates a soothing vibration throughout the body. It’s a great activity to involve the whole family and bring joy to your breathwork practice.
Steps to Practice Humming Bee Breath
1. Find a comfortable seated position and close your eyes.
2. Take a deep breath in through your nose.
3. Exhale slowly and deeply while making a humming sound like a bee. Feel the vibration in your throat and throughout your body.
4. Repeat this process, taking a deep breath in and humming as you exhale.
5.You can experiment with different pitches and tones as you hum, allowing yourself to explore the range of vibrations and sensations within your body.
Benefits of Humming Bee Breath:
- Relieves stress and tension
- Calms the mind and nervous system
- Enhances focus and concentration
- Promotes a sense of inner peace and tranquility
- Encourages self-expression and creativity
Breathwork is a powerful tool that can bring a sense of calm, balance, and joy to your life. By incorporating these playful and easy breathwork techniques into your daily routine, you can experience the numerous benefits for yourself and share them with your family. Whether you choose to practice Ocean Breath, Alternate Nostril Breath, or Humming Bee Breath, remember to approach these exercises with curiosity and an open mind. Enjoy the journey of exploring your breath and discovering the profound effects it can have on your well-being. Have fun, and breathe easy!
Let me know how you’re feeling in the comments after! I hope it’s full of all the good-vibes and chill. And if you’re not there yet, its ok! You can repeat any of these breath work exercises multiple times in a row or even do it for an hour!
Feel free to pair these with any yoga classes in the library!
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Disclaimer: Celebrate Again, LLC recommends that you speak with your physician regarding the applicability of any recommendations and follow all safety instructions before beginning any exercise program. When partaking in any form of physical activity it is potentially hazardous, and that may involve a risk of possible injury or even death. If you engage in this exercise or exercise program, you voluntarily agree that you do so with the knowledge of the risk involved, expressly assume and accept any and all risks of injury to yourself.
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