Breathing techniques proved to be a different forum this week for our optional CPD programme. English teacher Val shared three breathing styles, which relaxed the group so much that we were ready to sleep at the end!

Pranayama is the movement and control of energy through the breath.  Click here for further details.

Technique 1:

“Closed teeth breathing” is used to cool your body’s systems down. It creates a natural calming effect and helps to cleanse your mind.

Sit comfortably with uncrossed legs extending your back with a tall neck. Either on the floor, a chair or your bed. Close your upper and lower teeth together and create a gap for air to be inhaled and exhaled through your mouth. Closing your eyes, inhale for a count of four, exhale for a count of four. As you get more practiced increase the count to six, then eight. Repeat this for a couple of minutes.

You can feel your breathing slowing down and relaxing you in your surroundings. Really importantly, concentrate on pushing your stomach out (inhale) and in (exhale) with each breath rather than your chest.

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Technique 2:

“Alternate nostril breathing” increases your focus.

Close off your right nostril with your right thumb, inhale slowly with control with your open left nostril. Open your right nostril and use your finger to now close the left nostril. With a count of four exhale.

Alternate each side to keep a balance with the inhalation and exhalation.

Technique 3:

“Sleep sequence” is used prior to going to sleep and helps your mind and body relax.

Start with a few slow neck rolls and upper body arm stretches. One arm stretched out above your head and reach over slowly to the opposite side, hold for a few seconds and repeat the opposite side.

This technique is encourage and develop extended breathing. Whilst breathing in your mind is on all the positives that happened in your day. Avoid any negative thoughts, just the positives at work, at home, about yourself. Keep your mouth closed to inhale and exhale through both nostrils. Attempt to increase the count for each time you do this technique.

To introduce these breathing techniques regularly would help reduce hypertension, stress and give you that important time to reflect on what happened throughout your day.