Deep breaths, Moms. When you’re busy, always on the move and always taking care of others, it can be easy to overlook your own self-care. But letting stress build up inside of you is never a good vibe.
If you’re looking for simple, QUICK ways to ease your stress and anxiety, increase energy when needed and find a sense of grounding, look no further. There are three essential Pranayama – breath – exercises all busy, stressed out moms need to know.
What Is Pranayama and What Are the Main Benefits? Here’s Your Quick Guide
3 Essential Breath Exercises for Busy, Stressed Out Moms:
1. Bellows Breath (Bhastrika Pranayama)
What’s it for? This is an energizing breath for those days when your to-do list is longer than your kids book report, you didn’t get anywhere near enough sleep last night and your Keurig just broke.
Bellows breath will wake you up better than a shot of espresso by creating heat and energy. This breath exercise helps increase alertness and clears the mind so you feel a little more grounded. This is also a great breath exercise to help aid with digestion and boost metabolism!
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How do you do it?
- Sit comfortably with your elbows bent and your hands at shoulder height. Close the hands into fists with the palms facing in towards each other
- Inhale through your nose, raising your arms straight up overhead, opening your hands and stretching your fingers wide
- Exhale forcefully and quickly through the nose as you lower your arms back to where you started with your hands in closed fists at shoulder height
- Repeat ten times and then relax while you breathe in and out at a normal, comfortable pace
Contraindications: Bellows breath should not be practiced by women who are pregnant or menstruating, anyone with high blood pressure, heart disease, epilepsy, vertigo or recent abdominal surgery.
Avoid practicing this form of Pranayama with a full stomach.
2. Bee Breath (Bhramari Pranayama)
What’s it for? Unlike bellows breath, bee breath is a calming, relaxing breath. This is a great breath exercise for busy moms to practice at night before going to sleep, or when experiencing insomnia.
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Bee breath helps to reduce tension and anxiety, lower blood pressure and can even help with focus and concentration.
Bee breath is a great breath exercise for busy moms to practice at night before going to sleep, or when experiencing insomnia.
This breath exercise involves a longer inhale in comparison to the inhale, which stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system, your rest or digest system, which sends a message that you are safe and it is time to relax and rest.
How do you do it?
- Take a few natural breaths in and out through the nose with the lips lightly sealed
- Inhale deeply through the nose
- Keeping the lips sealed, exhale slowly while making a continuous M sound, imitating a buzzing bee
- Repeat as long as this feels comfortable
Contraindications: Pregnant or menstruating women, people with high blood pressure, epilepsy or chest pain. This breath should be practiced in a seated position, not lying down.
3. Box Breathing (Sama Vritti Pranayama)
What is it for? Box breathing is another relaxing breath exercise for moms that will help to calm your nervous system.
Not only does this deep breathing technique help reduce the production of stress hormones, like cortisol, with regular practice it can also help improve your reaction to stress.
Box breathing also increases focus and concentration, increases lung capacity and helps to detoxify the body by releasing toxins.
Sama means equal and Vritti means flow or wave. We have a natural pause after the inhale and after the exhale, but we rarely pay attention to or notice this. Box breathing helps us be more aware of those natural moments of breath retention.
How do you do it?
- Slowly breathe in to the count of four
- Hold the inhale for a count of four
- Breathe out for a count of four
- Hold the exhale for a count of four
- Repeat for several minutes, as long as it feels comfortable
Contraindications: pregnant women, anyone with high blood pressure.
Deep Breaths Moms! You’ve Got This With These Essential Breath Exercises
Ok moms. The next time you’re feeling rundown, worn out or stressed, remember these three easy, go-to breathing techniques to help bring a little more energy, peace or relaxation when you need it.
Which one is your favorite? Comment below. We love to hear from you!