3 breathing techniques to help you relax and focus better

Young attractive woman doing breath therapy.
Young attractive woman doing breath therapy.

Yoga isn't simply about performing poses to build strength and stamina. Pranayama (breathing exercises) is a yoga discipline that focuses on different breathing techniques.

Controlled breathing helps to balance energies by relaxing the spirit and soul. It also helps to regulate mood and improve focus by calming the heart and soul. In all activities, not only asanas, it is essential to take deep breaths. Without this crucial phase, your exercise will be much less effective.

The following are three essential yoga breathing methods that you should include in your training program:

Ujjayi Pranayama (Ocean Breath)

The word ‘Ujjayi’ means ‘to win’ in Sanskrit. This breathing practice, also known as pranayama, helps to keep the mind calm and the body relaxed. Inhale fully via both nostrils, glottis partly closed.

Detail instructions:

1. Sit on the floor with your eyes closed and your back straight.

2. Deeply inhale and exhale. Allow the air to enter your lungs.

3. When you're happy with your exhales, consider tightening your glottis (soft palate) in a slight whistling tone to limit airflow.

4. When you're exhaling, inhale with the same vocal tension.

5. Breathe while keeping your throat constricted, then close your mouth and breathe through your nostrils.

6. While inhaling, allow the air to enter your lungs completely. Begin with five minutes and gradually increase.

Kapalbhati Pranayama (Skull Shining Breath)

The Skull Shining Breath (Kapalbhati Pranayama) is a powerful breathing practice that meditators use. This technique alternates between short, rapid exhales and long, slow inhales. Kapalbhati Pranayama is excellent for increasing concentration.

Detail instructions:

1. Lie face down on the floor with your spine straight.

2. Deeply inhale and exhale while pushing your belly button and abdomen toward your spine.

3. Sit up straighter and breathe quickly through your nose.

4. Repeat twenty times, then gently release.

Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breathing)

Shodhana Pranayama is based on the Sanskrit phrases “Nadi” (nervous system) and “Shodhana” (cleaning or purifying). This type of pranayama helps to balance the body's energy system.

Detail instructions:

1. Sit comfortably on the floor with your spine relaxed.

2. In this pose, take deep breaths and relax.

3. Connect your thumb and fingers with one hand on your thighs. In Nasagra mudra, fold your medial and forefinger fingers together.

4. Use your thumb to close the nasal passageways. Close your left nostril with your index and little finger.

5. Exhale via your nose. Then, close your thumbs and inhale via your nasal canal. Breathe in via your nose. Perform ten times, then double the speed.

Consider the following scenario: you want to improve your physical health while also developing your ability to breathe correctly. As a result, you should be familiar with the three Yoga breathing techniques that you should incorporate into your daily routine. Utilize these three yoga breathing techniques in the proper sequence to achieve the most spectacular results.