breathing exercises, breathing techniques, meditation pillows, comfortable meditation pillows, benefits of breathing, mindfulness, meditation,

4 Powerful Breathing Exercises That'll Instantly Bring You Calmness

April 29, 2018

Grab your meditation pillow; it’s time to channel instant calmness through simple yet effective breathing techniques.

There’s a common misconception that meditation has to involve deep relaxation music, burning sage and mantra chants. While there’s no denying that those are excellent components to achieving mindfulness through meditation, you can treat yourself to a little pick-me-up without them as well. As long as you have a calming space and a comfy meditation pillow to sit on, you can reap all the benefits of breathing deeply. Here are some of the best breathing exercises to do when you’re in need of a quick, refreshing boost of inner calmness. 

The Square Technique

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The square technique breathing exercise is, inarguably, one of the easiest to do, especially if you’re a visual person.  It also works wonderfully for children, as they’re able to visualize their breath alongside a common shape, making it easy for them to remember this exercise.

Here are the steps to completing this powerful technique:

  1. Imagine a square in your mind
  2. Using your finger, “draw” the first line of your square in the air, and take a deep breath in
  3. Now, “draw” the second line of your square and hold your breath
  4. “Draw” the third line of the square and fully exhale until your lungs are empty
  5. “Draw” the last line of your square and pause

The Calming Counts Technique

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With a name like that, you simply can’t go wrong with this breathing exercise. It takes a bit longer to complete than the other options, but more importantly, it comes with many powerful benefits that will bring you fast relief in your mind, body and spirit. The key is to remember to be conscious of each action you take, to divert your mood and thoughts from the things that are making you tense, stressful or fearful.

Here are the steps to take to complete this exercise:

  1. Use a meditation pillow to find a comfy place to sit
  2. Take a long, deep breath in
  3. Slowly exhale, while repeating the mantra “relax” in your mind or quietly out loud
  4. Close your eyes and envision “relax” in your mind
  5. Take 10 natural, effortless breaths and with every exhale, counting down from ten
  6. Notice any stress or tension in your face, jaw, forehead, shoulders, stomach, etc.
  7. Imagine those tensions loosening and escaping with every breath
  8. When you reach “one”, open your eyes and take a couple more natural breaths while bringing your attention back to your surroundings. 

The Natural Breathing Technique

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Just as this name reads, this breathing exercise consists of you breathing naturally. The key to reaping the benefits of breathing is to be mindful of each action you take and to focus on filling your diaphragm with air, instead of filling your chest. In other words, instead of simply breathing, you’ll be paying attention to each breath and each exhale, while allowing your stomach to rise and lower with each action.  

Here are the steps to completing this breathing exercise:

  1. Slowly inhale through your nose, filling up your diaphragm and not your chest
  2. Focus on this breath
  3. Slowly exhale either through your nose or mouth, focusing on the feeling, sounds and sensations of emptying your lungs
  4. Repeat

The Calming Breath Technique

breathing exercises, breathing techniques, meditation pillows, comfortable meditation pillows, benefits of breathing, mindfulness, meditation,

This breathing exercise is similar to the prior, in the sense that you don’t want to force your inhale or exhale. However, instead of filling just the lower part of your lungs with air (your diaphragm), this breathing exercise fills your lungs completely, starting in the diaphragm area and moving into the chest.

Here are the steps to completing this calming breathing technique:

  1. Take a slow breath in through your nose, focusing on filling your diaphragm first, and then your chest
  2. Hold the breath for a count of three
  3. Slowly exhale your breath through pursed lips, focusing on relaxing and removing any tension in your jaw, face, shoulders and stomach
  4. Repeat at least 10 times a day for maximum calmness

All you need is a couple of seconds to breath and a comfortable meditation pillow to sit on, and you can achieve calmness whenever and wherever you are.

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