Breathwork in Mindfulness
We’ve already introduced box breathing, so today, let’s look at a few new breathwork exercises. These exercises have different names; many come from traditional yogic practices so we’ve included their tradition names below as well. Let’s try these exercises to quickly come back to ourselves if we’re feeling stressed, or as a way to start our day off on a good note.
Sitali Breathing, or Cooling Breath
Find a comfortable seated position, and begin tuning into your breath.
Purse lips as if drinking through a straw, and inhale for a count of 4
Close lips and exhale through nose for a count of 4
Repeat for 5 breath counts, noticing the cooling air as you inhale
Nadi Shodana, or Alternating Nostril Breathing
Find a comfortable seated position, and begin dialing into your breath.
Place your left hand on your left knee, and lift your right hand to your nose
Exhale completely and then use your right thumb to close your right nostril.
Inhale through your left nostril and then close the left nostril with your fingers.
Open the right nostril and exhale through this side.
Inhale through the right nostril and then close this nostril.
Open the left nostril and exhale through the left side. This completes 1 cycle.
Continue for up to 5 minutes and finish with an exhale on the left side
Next time you’re feeling stressed and having a tough time bringing your nervous system down, give one of these breathwork exercises a try and see how you feel.
Cronkleton, E. (2018, July.) What Are the Benefits and Risks of Alternate Nostril Breathing? https://www.healthline.com/health/alternate-nostril-breathing
Eisler, M. (2015, November.) Nadi Shodhana: How to Practice Alternate Nostril Breathing. Chopra. https://chopra.com/articles/nadi-shodhana-how-to-practice-alternate-nostril-breathing
Sexton, S. (n.d.) Beat the Heat: Sitali and Sitkari. https://yogainternational.com/article/view/beat-the-heat-sitali-and-sitkari
Sweet, J. (2020, February.) The Science Behind Breathwork + 5 Benefits Of The Practice. Mind Body Green Mindfulness. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/the-benefits-of-breathwork