Did you know that one of the best ways to improve your health and wellness is easy to do, and even better, not cost a dime? “Focused Breathing is a free, powerful tool that can help relieve anxiety, improve clarity, and encourage mental balance during times of stress,” says Anna Bjurstam, Six senses‘Wellness Pioneer and the creator of wellness programming next Six Sens New York, opening in early 2021. Located on the High Line in XI, an elegant residential complex designed by renowned Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, the hotel will be the luxury hotel brand’s first North American and urban property.
Another benefit of mindful breathing is that it can be done anywhere, anytime, and the results are immediate. “Anyone can take five minutes during the day to get away from their desk while working from home, or implement this practice each night to help relax and promote restful sleep,” says Bjurstam. “Because now, and more than ever, it is important to protect our physical, mental and spiritual well-being. And concentrated breathing is a quick and easy way to save time for ourselves. ”
Coming up, Bjurstam shares four techniques to help with everything from pandemic stress to low energy use.
Canned breathing is really effective as a stress management technique. It really calms the body, lowers blood pressure, and lowers hypertension.
- Let all the air out of your lungs for a count of four.
- Keep your lungs empty for a count of four.
- Breathe in deeply for a count of four.
- Keep your lungs full for a count of four.
- Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge behind your upper teeth.
- Breathe out completely through your mouth with a hissing sound.
- Next, breathe in deeply through your nose for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of seven, and breathe out through your mouth for a count of eight.
- Repeat for a total of four breaths.
For energy, or to wake up in the morning
Alternate nasal breathing helps sharpen focus, focus, and mental clarity when your mind is dull or tired. It delivers equal amounts of oxygen to both sides of your brain. This is a great exercise to do before a full day’s work or an important meeting.
- Using your right thumb, gently close the right nostril and inhale as slowly as possible through the left nostril, then close it with your ring finger. Pause. Open and slowly exhale through the right nostril.
- With the right nostril open, inhale slowly, then close it with your thumb. Pause. Exhale through the left nostril. Once your exhalation is complete, inhale from the left. Take a break before moving to the right.
- Repeat this pattern five to ten times, then release the right hand on the right knee. Easily resume normal breathing.
For cleaning and releasing energy blockages
Breath of fire. We would usually be seated for that.
- Inhale. It is a quick and powerful inspiration into your lungs. The inspiration should be intense but without excessive effort.
- Exhale. Without pausing, exhale with a level of force equal to that of your inhalation.
- Repeat. Continue these dynamic inhales and exhales without pausing.
- Once you are comfortable with the flow of the breath, shift your attention to your abdominal muscles and activate those muscles.
- To complete your Breath of Fire practice, take a long, deep breath and slowly release your hands to your sides.