We at Two Fit Moms understand the ups and downs of motherhood, and we're here to help you navigate the waves. This month, when you're too tired, stressed, and busy to roll out your yoga mat, try finding stillness and peace by practicing one (or all) of these three breathing techniques.
See alsoThe Science of Breathing
3 Calming Breathing Exercises
1. Slow-Deep Breathing
Inhale deeply through the nose for a count of 6 until the lungs are full, and then exhale through the nose for a count of 6 until the lungs are empty. In your head, count like this: inhale-two-three-four-five-six; exhale-two-three-four-five-six. Keep the count in your head for a couple of rounds until the rhythm of the slow breathing exercise feels natural.
See also4 Reasons to Breathe Right
2. Square Breathing
Inhale through the nose for a count of 4; hold your breath (with lungs full of air) for a count of 4; exhale for a count of 4; hold your breath (with lungs empty) for a count of 4. Practice this breathing technique by maintaining this count in your head: inhale-two-three-four; hold-two-three-four; exhale-two-three-four; hold-two-three-four.
3. Counting Backward
Close your eyes and place your hand on your belly. Inhale deeply through your nose and feel your belly rise under your palm. Exhale completely through your nose and feel your belly fall. Count backward in your head, beginning with the number 27. With each breath, count like this: 27 belly rises, 27 belly falls; 26 belly rises, 26 belly falls. Make your way down to 1, and feel free to repeat this exercise more than once. Not only can you do this exercise while seated in a chair, you can also do it in bed if you need help falling asleep at night.
Stay tuned for more from Two Fit Moms every week this month, including a strengthening sequence to help you reclaim your body and rebuild your core, an empowering escape flow, and poses to do with your kids.
Masumi and Laura are wearing apparel from their new Two Fit Moms apparel collection from Gaiam above. Shop the look.