Try These Breathing Exercises for Every Mood

Breathe control can connect to the body, mind, and spirit.

Woman practicing breathing exercises.

(Yolya Ilyasova /

Breath is the vehicle that drives you through life. When you discover how to control your breathing, you tap into your inner peace and vitality. With breath control, you can connect to the body, mind, and spirit. 

An abundance of breathing exercises can help you calm your  mind and feel at ease. So whether you want to ignite some energy in the morning or calm the nervous system, try these breathing exercises for every mood.

Ujjayi Pranayama
Turn back the hands of time to the original breathwork, pranayama. Prana means breath, and Yama means control. Originating in India, this type of breathwork explores breathing expansion. 

Ujjayi Pranayama, also known as the ocean breath, cools the nervous system and calms the mind, according to Ekhart Yoga. Rise up from the savasana yoga pose to arrive at a seated position, then go into the lotus pose. Elongate your spine, relax your shoulders, and reconnect with the natural breath. 

As you create awareness at the back of your throat, restrict your breathing as though you are gently closing the air passageway and continuing to breathe through your nostrils. Stay with this movement as you flow through nostril inhalations and exhalations. If you sound just like waves rippling in the oceans, you know you're doing it right! Research from the Australian govenment's Better Health Channel suggests that becoming aware of your breath and being conscious of your body could reduce stress hormones and activate a relaxation response.

The Wim Hof Method 
Wim Hof has become a rising figure, especially among people who practice cold water immersion. With a focus on breathing, cold therapy, and commitment, you can enhance your creativity, become more focused, and even enhance your sports performance according to  Hof. 

As you begin, clear your mind of any distractions and focus solely on the breath. Inhale fully through the belly and exhale short powerful forces for 30 rounds. On your final exhalation, hold your breath for as long as possible. As soon as you feel that you need to breathe naturally again, take a deep inhale and hold for 15 seconds before letting go. Repeat two additional times.

Nadi Shodhana 
Nadi Shodhana, also known as Alternate Nostril Breathing, creates sweet harmony as it balances both the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Do this to balance the female and masculine energy, both of which everyone has. Chopra explores this beautiful practice as he guides you through this powerful way of breathing. 

Begin by placing your first two fingers on the third-eye chakra and using your thumb to cover one nostril. Take a deep inhale through your open nostril before switching and closing the other nostril with your ring finger. Continue to flow through this series of breaths for as long as possible, you may begin to feel a little light-headed but this is normal. 

Dirga Breath
When you’re feeling stressed, you can always return to the breath to find peace. Dirga breathing is a three-part breath that welcomes a sea of serenity to your days. As one of the most grounding breathing techniques, Dirga Breath helps you to tune into the present moment by shutting down the mind and stepping into the body, according to Verywell Fit.

You can practice Dirga Breathing either sitting up in a comfortable position or laying on your back;it’s totally up to you! Whichever you decide, ensure that you can relax and shut your eyes. 

Begin by focusing on the natural rhythm of your breathing. Exploring every inhalation and exhalation. As thoughts come and go, allow them to pass with no judgments. Transcend your breathing into deep nostril breaths. With every inhale, expand your tummy, and with every exhale draw your navel back towards your spine. Repeat five times. 

The last step welcomes ultimate expansion as you take an extra deep inhale to expand the breath entirely up to the collarbones, filling your chest area with oxygen and letting it go.

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