Admit it, we all encounter high-stress moments at some point during our lives. You may of previously faced a stressful event, currently be experiencing stress, or anticipating a stressful period in the future – Stress effects all of us!
Much of our stress is held in our chests, and when we release this tension, it will feel as if we are removing a heavy armor suit from our bodies. One way to reduce stress is to practice Ocean breathing, or in yoga terms Ujjayi breathing (pronounced oo-JAH-yee). For regular yoga attendees, this type of breathing is the most common breath used in hatha yoga.
How do you practice Ocean breathing?
- Comfortably stand with adequate space to move your arms out to your sides.
- Your feet should be about 3 feet apart with your toes facing straight ahead.
- Bend your knees about 6 inches and lengthen your spine toward the ceiling.
- Relax your shoulder blades, avoiding shoulder elevation.
- Move your hands to midline in front of your heart, and gently press them together in a prayer position.
- Inhale through your mouth as you move your arms straight out to your sides at shoulder height (arms open and elbows slightly bent).
- Exhale through your mouth as you move your hands back to midline.
- Inhale, opening your arms again.
- Exhale audibly, returning your hands to midline.
- Repeat these same movements, keeping your mouth open continuously on the inhalation and exhalation (avoid pursing your lips together).
- Perform this deep breathing exercise for 5 minutes (you may use a timer).
- Pay close attention to your refreshed and peaceful emotional state, which will come as a result of completing this exercise.
Safety: If you experience dizziness at any time, stop the deep breathing exercise and bend over placing your head below your heart. This position will allow blood to flush to your head and prevent fainting. Lie down and resume the exercise when you feel ready.
Do YOU routinely practice a different deep breathing exercise?
Please share your experiences!
Strom, M. (2013). Ocean breathing heals emotional pain. IDEA Fit Tips, 11(9). doi:http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/ldquoocean-breathingrdquo-heals-emotional-pain