3 Simple Breathwork Exercises to Relax and Recenter

Essential Takeaways: 

  • Remove the distractions of everyday life and ease yourself into a state of calm and relaxation through Manjit's top 3 breathwork exercises for stress relief. 
  • Be guided by Manjit Devgun, a leading mind coach and founder of the Manjit Meditation App, specializing in integrative breathwork, hypnosis, and sound therapy. 
  • Meditation is a meaningful life skill that's easy to pick-up, and can be done in the comfort of your own home, or even incorporated into your daily routine to help you recenter.  

With all of the constant distractions and stress of everyday life, we can forget how incredibly miraculous the human body is. We actually have so much agency over our own health, and one way we can really tap into this is through self-care practices like meditation. When we learn to meditate, we are training our nervous system to ignore all of the alerts and notifications going off in the background. Instead, we guide the body to calm our minds, improve our sleep, and feel happier throughout the day. Take a moment to try the following 3 simple breath exercises, which can be found in the Manjit App to try for free.

Physiological Sigh

The Physiological sigh is very easy to learn, and just by doing one or two of these, you are able to bring your body back into a state of calm.  Simply take two consecutive inhales through the nose and then exhale twice as long. Take the first breath into the lowest part of the belly and the second “top up” breath to expand the chest. Then take a nice long exhale like you are floating down a long water slide. I like to do this two to three times when I am feeling stressed, and it immediately puts me into a state of feeling relaxed and re-centered.

Golden Balloon

This next breathwork trains the body to naturally breathe deeper and inhibits the automatic response of rapid shallow breathing, which is the onset of an anxiety attack when one is in fight or flight mode. Place the hands on the lower belly, Close the eyes, and imagine slowly blowing up a balloon. Place all of your focus on your tailbone and feel your hands move away from the spine as you breathe in through your nose. You are aiming for the lowest part of your torso to inflate first, and for the air to move up as your chest inflates last. Then try counting to six on the exhale as you release air through your nose or mouth. 

For this exercise, start out slowly and don’t worry if it’s hard to find the rhythm at first—the more you do it the more your body will get used to it. Feel the hands move away from the spine and as you exhale, notice that the exhales will get smoother, and start to visualize the whole lower belly being filled with golden light. This visualization will also help to relax the mind and help you really tune into the exercise.

Heart Breathing

Place both your hands on your chest and close your eyes. Feel the sensation of your hands on your body. Just this in itself can be very grounding. Start to find your own rhythm, breathing in for four counts and exhaling for four counts. As  you do so, imagine that there is a beautiful green light flowing in through your hands and filling up your chest with every inhale. I like to imagine that the exhale is leaving through a small back door in between the shoulder blades. 

Continue this exercise for at least four minutes and use this time to think happy thoughts. Perhaps about how much you appreciate this healing light (AKA prana), your unique connection to mother nature, or maybe even a loved one that makes you laugh. Allow a certain memory to come to your mind when you were having a joyous time with them laughing and giggling and allow yourself to feel the emotion of that laughter as you breathe in and continue to fill your whole lung with this happy green energy. After four minutes of doing this your heart electromagnetic waves will become in sync with your brain waves. This will calm down your body, improve the quality of your heartbeat, and help you calm your nervous system.

Continue to holistically support your body with Elix's Daily Harmony formula, a powerful blend of adaptogens that balance hormones and help our bodies adapt to stress.

This article was reviewed by Zoey Gong.

Zoey Gong is a Traditional Chinese Medicine nutritionist, food therapist, and chef. Her recipes have been featured in various publications, including the cover of Food & Wine magazine in the February 2023 issue. She’s the author of The Five Elements Cookbook: A Guide to Traditional Chinese Medicine with Recipes for Everyday Healing, where she guides readers in the basics of TCM through encyclopedic entries on common ingredients and 50 nourishing recipes.

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