New science is showing that slowing down and deepening your breathing can have profound effects on well-being. Breathing exercises have been shown to help control blood pressure, lower heart rate, make arteries more flexible and activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which reduces stress and anxiety. The exercise of alternate nostril breathing is also said to synchronize the two hemispheres of the brain and balance energy flow in the body.
Sit comfortably tall with eyes lightly closed, shoulders and jaw relaxed. Place the index and middle fingers together above the bridge of nose just above the eyebrow center. Pressing your right thumb to close your right nostril, inhale slowly through the left nostril until your lungs are full, pause. Close the left nostril with the ring finger and release thumb on the right nostril for a slow, complete exhale, pause. Keeping left nostril pressed, inhale slowly through the right nostril and pause. Close right nostril with thumb and release ring finger to open left nostril for a slow, complete exhale. Repeat each side for 4-5 rounds, finishing with an exhale through the left nostril. Then release the hand and return to normal breathing.
Experience the benefits of breathing exercises in Chair Yoga classes at Grey Bears with Suzi (Tue & Fri) and Sarah (Thur) at 9:30am.