Let’s open this article with some straight statistics. Over the last three decades, stress in the United States has increased by a whopping 30% and 35% of American workers suffer from Chronic Stress daily. If that doesn’t shock you, this may: women are more stressed than men, and more likely to feel tense over the course of an average workday.
While you may not be able to necessarily eliminate the root cause of your stress (i.e. if stress is caused by the nature of your career choice), you can learn to “de-clutter” your mind by taking a few minutes a couple of times each day to adopt some breathing techniques and free your mind, if just for those few minutes, of what harps on your mind the most.
The following three are our favorite here at Mercedes Club.
- Deep or Abdominal Breathing
- Known to be the most effective breathing technique for taking over the nervous system, Deep Breathing requires you to sit straight on the floor, relaxing your muscles. By inhaling deeply through your nose and exhaling through your mouth, with one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen, you can relax in mere seconds. Practicing this technique only 10 minutes per day can both reduce blood pressure and your heart rate nearly instantaneously.
- The 4-7-8 Exercise
- Noted as one of the simplest breathing techniques, the 4-7-8 exercise starts with sitting straight and pressing the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth directly behind your teeth (note: keep it there the entire time). Start by emptying your lungs completely through your mouth before inhaling deeply through your nose (1..2..3..4..) and holding in the air for seven seconds (1..2..3..4..5..6..7..) . Finally, breathe out through your mouth, counting slowly to eight (1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..) and repeat the cycle again for a total of four times.
- According to holistic-online.com, “Kapalabhati is a Breathing Technique used specifically for cleansing.” Start off by taking two normal breaths before inhaling deeply, filling your lungs as much as you can. Exhale, while simultaneously pulling in your abdomen. “Repeat twenty times, keeping a steady rhythm and emphasizing the exhalation each time. Then inhale, exhale completely, inhale fully and hold your breath for as long as you comfortably can. Slowly exhale.” (via holistic-online.com)
By adapting some of these effective breathing techniques into your day to day, you may be able to eliminate some of the unnecessary stresses the day has brought forth. Experience a Mercedes Club Yoga class as you synchronize your breath with flowing movement. Re-energize and relax. For more class details, refer to our Group Exercise Schedule.