It seems so obvious: breathe. How often do you breathe without even thinking about it? Conscious breathing can have immediate benefits on our brain, stress levels and mood.  As a yoga teacher, I often encourage my students to focus on their breathing to help them move through poses and through life in general.

When upset, anxious, or in fight or flight mode, people’s breathing often becomes labored and they breathe through their mouth.  Proper breathing can help us to calm down the body and brain and access the parasympathetic nervous system, or the rest and digest system. Even when not upset, it is helpful to know how to consciously breathe to invigorate creativity, patience, compassion and whatever else you want to access for yourself.

There are many breathing exercises you can do. The simplest exercise is to just sit still in a comfortable position and breath in through your nose for a count of four, pause and breathe out of your nose for a count of four. Breathing in through your nose helps you to rest, conserve your energy and lower your heart rate, as opposed to when you breathe in through your mouth. Breathing solely through your mouth encourages the fight or flight system.  This breathing is called Sama Vritti or Equal Breathing and is great anytime of day but especially at bedtime.  Today, take a moment for yourself to just breath.

Happy Breathing,

Liv Fagerholm

Creation Associate at Maria’s Place