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The Four Best Breathing Exercise for Beginners.  Anytime.  Anywhere!

In my everyday practice, I observe many of my students breathing 

through their mouth.  Through my experience I have found that 

breathing is very personal. It is very personal because it takes a 

lot of attention and awareness to get the body used to breathing a 

certain way and experimenting with different breathing 

techniques.

Your breath should be natural, especially once you bring it into 

your everyday practice.  Controlled breathing has many 

advantages, from curbing stress from its roots to lowering blood 

pressure, and increased concentration.  Not only does it keep the 

mind and body functioning at its best, it can also promote feelings 

of instant calmness and relaxation.  It is a great technique to ease 

stress in almost all situations, including one of our daily stressors, 

our work commute.

Ancient texts of Ayuryoga and Ayurveda has proved that methods 

of breathing and meditation is effective in curing many problems 

which rise in today's stressful lifestyle.  Experts encourage using 

the breath as a means of increasing awareness and mindfulness. 

 According to many traditions, it is the key to attain a zen state of 

being.  Even yogis swear by utilizing breathing exercises to live a 

joyful and healthy life.

But breathing easy isn’t as simple as it sounds. However, a well-

trained teacher can show you the methodology to breathing 

exercises and prescribe the right amount of technique.  Make 

sure to be slow in your practice, as getting the technique right is 

primary to achieve great results.

From the comfort of your bed, to your office desk, or any other 

place where you catch your mind in a negative state, these six 

breathing techniques will instantly help you keep calm.

Sama Vritti

Step 1: It's All About Balance

Sama means equal.  Vritti means the state of being.

Right now,  our bodies are accustomed to the practice of shallow 

breathing.

To start sama vritti, inhale for a count of four, then exhale for a 

count of four.  Remember to breathe through your nose.  This 

adds a natural resistance to the breath and is a basic of 

pranayama breathing.  As you advance, aim for six to eight 

counts per breath with the goal in mind: this technique can calm 

the nervous system, increase focus, and reduce stress and 

anxiety.

Sama Vritti can be done anytime, anyplace.  This is one 

technique that is especially effective when you catch yourself 

creating unlimited thoughts.  In other words, if you’re having a 

hard time falling asleep, this breath can help slow your mind and 

reduce racing thoughts, and help you bring your focus and 

concentration to the present situation.

This step is great for the beginner who wants to relax.  A count of 

10 breaths would be a great way to stop and rejuvenate your busy 

day.

Step 2:  Nadi Shodhana "Alternate Nostril Breathing" 

This breathing technique is used to balance and unite the right 

and left hemisphere of the brain.  This is also known as a silent 

breathing technique. Starting in a comfortable seated pose, hold 

your right thumb over the right nostril and inhale deeply through 

your left nostril. At the peak of inhalation, pause to close off the 

left nostril with your ring finger, then exhale through the right 

nostril. Continue this pattern, inhaling through the right nostril, and 

closing it off with the right thumb and exhaling through the left 

nostril. Slowing the pace of your breath is the key to optimize the 

results of this silent breathing technique.  

Nadi Shodhana works best during crunch time or anytime you find 

it challenging to focus or energize, such as prior to meetings in 

the mid-afternoon.  Nadi shodhana is said to “clear the channels 

and meridians in our body and make people feel more relaxed if 

done with control.  On a slower pace, this is a great sleep 

inducer."  It’s almost like a cup of warm milk before you fall 

asleep!

This practice is great for a beginner to start focusing on following 

his or her breath. This technique is allowed throughout pregnancy 

and can be very beneficial in relaxing and cleansing.  It also aids 

in improving blood circulation.  While practicing this breathing 

technique, concentrate on keeping the breath quiet, while focus 

on feeling the coldness in your inhale and the warmth of your 

exhale. 

Step 3:  Abdominal Breathing / Ocean Wave / Sohum Meditation.

With one hand on the chest and the other on the belly, take a 

deep breath in through the nose, ensuring the diaphragm (not the 

chest) inflates with enough air to create a stretch in the lungs. 

 Pause 2-3 seconds after inhalation and exhalation.  Step 3 is 

very similar to baby breathing . A round of 8-10 deep, slow 

breaths per minute for a minimum of five minutes each day can 

result in lower blood pressure and a tension-free lifestyle. This 

breathing technique is also very helpful in increasing lung 

capacity and improving digestion. It also aids in regulating the 

natural rhythm of your heart.

This breathing technique works great before tests, interviews, or 

any stressful event. Though it can seem slightly hard in the 

beginning to control the breath, be patient and the body and mind 

will help train the breath control.

Anyone can enjoy this ocean wave of breathing.  Also great for a 

beginner, just imagine an ocean wave splashing on the shore and 

retracting. In addition, this is great for pregnant goddesses to 

nurture their growing little one, as this ensures in improving 

oxygen absorption and detoxes your whole body.

Step 4: Anuloma Viloma (Intermediate level of Nadi Shodana - 

See Step 2)

Anuloma Viloma should be done on an empty stomach, preferably 

early in the morning or mid-afternoon before you reach for that 

cup of caffeine!

This breathing technique is very similar to alternate nostril 

breathing. Here, the air is forced in, instead of in a controlled 

slow-paced breathing. Let your breathing be heard loud.  To 

begin, we start in a comfortable seated posture.  Before you start, 

use a tissue to blow your nose to remove excess mucus.  Begin 

with closing your right nostril using your right thumb and lifting 

your right elbow in line with the right shoulder, parallel to the floor. 

 Now, as you force inhale through your left nostril, a gush of a 

noisy breath is pushed in immediately.  Close your left nostril with 

your ring finger to exhale out of your right nostril, then followed by 

an inhale. This is a fast paced nadi shodana. In this technique, 

your breath is pushed to clean and clear your lungs, as this 

increases your heart rate.

I call Anuloma Viloma, cardio work out for ancient yogis. Beware, 

as this is an intermediate level of breathing, this technique can 

make you feel light headed

This breathing exercise is great to begin your day! It's like playing 

upbeat music to dance to and having an expresso shot, all 

together.  It is highly energizing!  According to ancient texts, this 

heals all forms of internal disease without medication.  Many great 

benefits can be seen when anuloma viloma is practiced regularly.

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