If you want to take the art of breathing a step further, try Pranayama. Pranayama is an ancient form of breathing exercise designed to calm the mind and strengthen your ability to concentrate. It also great for our health and is believed to purify the nerve channels and the blood and strengthen the lungs and respiratory system. It also massages and tones the abdominal muscles which is an added benefit. Regular practice is said to reverse the aging process and help maintain us in optimal health.
I find 20 minutes of Pranayama is enough to centre you and is a wonderful way to start the day. If you are interested in learning how to do it there are lots of instructional videos on YouTube.
Meditation is the ultimate in stress control but often difficult for our Western minds to cope with. A wise yogi once told me that in order to meditate you must first master the ability to sit cross-legged for at least half an hour, then learn to control the breath with Pranayama and only then are you ready to meditate.
So my recommendation would be to start with some deep breathing, making time each day to practice this simple technique, and then see where this takes you. Harnessing the power of breathing is an amazing way to de stress, however there are other ways to ensure we aren’t letting stress back in to our lives unconsciously, which will be talked about in the next blog post.