Breathwork or pranayama can calm you down, but it can also energise your body with an intense combination of powerful inhalations and exhalations. Here are a couple of our favourite techniques to awaken the body and boost vitality from the inside out.
Lion’s breath or Simhasana.
Any experienced yogi will know this one. Whilst it’s not a breathing technique that can be done anywhere – you’ll need a yoga mat-sized space – it can give such a profound release of energy that we had to include it.
- Start by kneeling with your ankles crossed, resting your bottom on your feet; if this isn’t comfortable, you can sit on a block or cushion, or sit cross-legged
- Bring your hands to your knees, stretching your arms and fingers as you do this.
- Take a deep breath in through your nose
- Exhale forcefully out through your mouth, creating a “ha” sound with your mouth wide open.
- Whilst exhaling, also stick your tongue out, stretching it as far as it can go
- Relax your face during your next inhale and repeat this sequence up to 6 times, changing the cross of your ankles halfway through
Kapalabhati or skull shining breath.
This is another yogic breathing technique that many believe to have cleansing properties. It can help relieve congestion, reduce bloating and improve your lung capacity. It’s a great breathing technique to kick start the day when you’re feeling sluggish and is perfectly paired with a few drops of DEFENCE.
- Start by sitting cross-legged on the floor or in a comfortable chair, making sure that you’re sitting tall with a straight spine
- Exhale fully, emptying your lungs
- Take a quick inhale through your nose and then exhale sharply whilst pulling you belly button towards your spine
- Repeat this 15-30 times, depending on your level of experience with this technique, then rest and allow your breathing to return to normal
- You can repeat this sequence up to 4 times
This is a powerful breathing technique and isn’t right for everyone. If you’re pregnant, have high blood pressure, heart disease or abdominal pain, you should not practice this. It’s also best to do this a few hours after eating, as it can make some people can feel dizzy. If this happens to you, stop your practice and breathe normally for a few minutes until the dizzy feeling has passed. This is also an energetic breathing exercise, so not one for bedtime.
Breath is our life force and for centuries humans have created different ways of using it to focus the mind and create balance in the body. Integrating mindful breathing techniques alongside APOTHEM’s restorative formulas can help bring you back into balance and strengthen your resilience to the challenges of modern life. The best way to manage everyday stressors is to find a routine that works for you.