August 15th, 2022 is a pretty significant date for us at Breathwrk – it’s National Relaxation Day! Yep, it’s the day we celebrate taking the time to put our feet up and unwind a little.
We wouldn’t be alone in saying that 2022 has been a tricky year for many, filled with its fair share of stresses and strains. As a result, it’s easy to find ourselves riddled with tension as we struggle to relax. Thankfully, at Breathwrk, we believe we’ve found a way to help usher in some much-needed stress relief through the power of breathing.
To celebrate National Relaxation Day, in today's blog, we’ll take a look at one of our crucial breathwork exercises – the Relaxation Breath, and how you can use this exercise to encourage a more profound and enriching sense of rest and relief. This is a fantastic technique to quickly calm the body before bed or as a soothing post-meal exercise.
Rest & Relax With Breathwrk
Put simply; our Relaxation Breath technique is a powerful breathing technique designed to engage the body in such a way as to encourage us to enter a deeper state of relaxation. This technique works by training the body’s tolerance to carbon dioxide through a constant inhale and a progressively longer exhale.
Regular practice of this technique can be a valuable tool for improving overall mental and physical health.
The Science of Relaxation
You might ask yourself, “just how does breathing make the body relax?”
It’s a good question with a solid amount of science to back up the idea.
Fundamentally, the Relaxation Breath engages our parasympathetic nervous system – the part of our neural network that governs how we respond to stress and danger. By keeping the inhale at a constant length, while extending the length of our exhale, we can gradually activate the parasympathetic nervous system – evoking a calming effect on the body as it enters a state of relaxation.
Try It Yourself
The Relaxation Breath is as follows:
- Sit straight in a chair and rest your hands on your knees or thighs.
- Relax your shoulders and focus your breathing by using your abdomen without raising your chest as you inhale or exhale.
- Through your nose, inhale for 2 seconds before exhaling for 1 second.
- Then, inhale for 2 seconds, but now exhale for 2 seconds.
- Repeat this cycle, increasing the exhale length by 1 second each time until your exhale lasts 10 seconds.
You may repeat this exercise multiple times or until you begin to feel more relaxed. For each session, start with a 1-second exhale and gradually move up to 10 seconds before starting again.
For more profound relaxation, exhale audibly through pursed lips, as though you were blowing out a birthday candle for each cycle.
If you’d like a more structured approach to helping manage your symptoms of anxiety, then why not give one of our ,guided classes a try? Our classes can be easily accessed through our app and give you an opportunity to be given a walkthrough of how our amazing ,breathing exercises work.
Our class, ,Exhaling Anxiety, is a 7-minute guided Pranayama class couched by Melissa Shah (she/her), a first-generation Indian-American yoga therapist and breathwork instructor who works to make wellness accessible to all!
Try the class ,Exhaling Anxiety with Melissa Shah today!
For more information regarding how to manage your breathing for a more effective lifestyle, visit our other blogs ,here at ,The Exhale to get the latest tips and tricks. For free guided breathing exercises that you can take anywhere, try out the Breathwrk app ,here and enjoy a FREE 7-day trial with access to ,everything we have to offer!
And remember: Breathe Better, Live Better.