Welcome to day 10 of the 12 Days of Valentine’s Love Yourself! Today is about breathing deep. Once upon a time I was really into Bikram Yoga. I lost well over 10 lbs through the practice, increased by strength and flexibility as well as minimized stress. Even though I don’t get to practice regularly, their are still a few key poses that I bust out for a variety of reasons
- To combat stress
- To relieve stomach aches and pains
- to stretch out my cramped up back and shoulders
Those are just some of the situations in which I use yoga. But without a doubt, the one pose that has been the most beneficial to me (and I promise it will be to you too!) is Breath of Fire or Belly Breathing (Kapalbhati in Vajrasana). I essence, you relax the shoulders and sit either crossed legged or with your knees under you and let your belly hang out. The you do quick successive breaths from your belly, pushing it out each time. Often times when we are stressed, we tense up our stomachs, so this is a fantastic way to relax the tummy while clearing your head. A good way to test if you are doing it properly is to stick your belly out and then put one hand on your belly. You should feel your tummy dropping forward with each breath.
Even if you’re not a yogini, trust me, breathing and getting rid of stale air from inside your body while bringing in fresh oxygen is a real pick me up.
Check out this infographic for more stress relief ideas using yoga.