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5 Breathing techniques for relaxation and a boost of energy

Updated: Jun 4

Ujjayi Pranayama Breath

Find a place where you can sit comfortably with a straight spine. Take a steady

beach waves

breath in through both nostrils. Inhale until you reach your lung capacity; maintain a tall spine. Hold your breath for a second, then constrict some of the breath at the back of your throat, as if you were about to whisper a secret, and exhale slowly through both nostrils. This exhalation will sound like an ocean wave or gentle rush of air. You should feel the air on the roof of your mouth as you exhale.

Alternate Nostril Breathing

Take a comfortable and tall seat, making sure your spine is straight and your heart is open.Relax your left palm comfortably into your lap and bring your right hand just in front of your face.With your right hand, bring your pointer finger and middle finger to rest between your eyebrows, lightly using them as an anchor. The fingers we’ll be actively using are the thumb and ring finger.

nostril breathing

Close your eyes and take a deep breath in and out through your nose.

Close your right nostril with your right thumb. Inhale through the left nostril slowly and steadily.

Close the left nostril with your ring finger so both nostrils are held closed; retain your breath at the top of the inhale for a brief pause.

Open your right nostril and release the breath slowly through the right side; pause briefly at the bottom of the exhale.

Inhale through the right side slowly.

Hold both nostrils closed (with ring finger and thumb).

Open your left nostril and release breath slowly through the left side. Pause briefly at the bottom.

Repeat 5-10 cycles, allowing your mind to follow your inhales and exhales.

Deep Belly Breathing

man belly breathing

Find a comfortable, quiet place to sit or lie down. For example, try sitting in a chair, sitting cross-legged, or lying on your back with a small pillow under your head and another under your knees.

Place one hand on your upper chest and the other hand on your belly, below the ribcage.

Allow your belly to relax, without forcing it inward by squeezing or clenching your muscles.

Breathe in slowly through your nose. The air should move into your nose and downward so that you feel your stomach rise with your other hand and fall inward (toward your spine).

Exhale slowly through slightly pursed lips. Take note of the hand on your chest, which should remain relatively still.

4-7-8 Breathing

woman meditating

Only do it for four cycles in a row in the beginning. After you get used to it, you can work up to eight cycles. You may feel lightheaded at first, but this will pass.

Find a comfortable place to sit with your back straight.

Place your tongue against the back of your top teeth and keep it there.

Exhale completely through your mouth around your tongue, making a whoosh sound. Purse your lips if it helps.

Close your lips and inhale through your nose for a count of four.

Hold your breath for a count of seven.

Exhale completely through your mouth making a whoosh sound for a count of eight.

This completes one cycle. Repeat for three more cycles.

Lion's Breath

Lion’s breath is an energizing yoga breathing practice that is said to relieve tension in your chest and face.


Come into a comfortable seated position. You can sit back on your heels or cross your legs.

Press your palms against your knees with your fingers spread wide.

Inhale deeply through your nose and open your eyes wide.

At the same time, open your mouth wide and stick out your tongue, bringing the tip down toward your chin.

Contract the muscles at the front of your throat as you exhale out through your mouth by making a long “ha” sound.

You can turn your gaze to look at the space between your eyebrows or the tip of your nose.

Do this breath 2 to 3 times.

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