Breathing Exercises to Relax and Energise.
Believe it or not breathing exercises for a singer are almost identical to breathing exercises to calm and relax you. Having been a singer and vocal coach I know how the breath works….well I need to!
The same kind of techniques apply its just for different reasons. Stress can play havoc with our body and mind alike. Breathing calmly and slowly, with control and focus is the key. Focussing only on your breath quietens your mind as this is all you are concentrating on in this present moment. It also relaxes your body as your muscles loosen and the tension leaves them.
I focus on my breathing every morning to prepare myself for whatever lies ahead. I always feel refreshed and ready for the things that will no doubt be thrown my way. Well that’s life isn’t it!
I don’t have a set length of time for my breathing exercises even though its always longer than ten minutes. I breathe until my mind tells me I’m prepared, I breathe until my body feels loose and strong. Then I have a good stretch and a bit of shake about and I’m there.
Maybe you already do this, maybe you don’t but I’d like to share with you 12 breathing exercises that I carry out each morning. Take as long as you wish, or have time for.
Things to consider before we start.
- Breathing is an involuntary function of your body so let it come naturally.
- Relax your shoulders, don’t lift them up as you breathe in. This immediately causes tension in your muscles.
- Bad breathing is based on fear and nerves so let it come naturally
- Don’t draw in your stomach as you breathe in, this squeezes the air out of your lungs instead of filling them up.
My 12 breathing exercises.
- Sit in a relaxed upright position, wherever is comfortable for you.
- Close your eyes if this helps you to become more focused.
- Place your hands gently on your stomach just below your belly button.
- Just breathe naturally at first to calm your mind and settle your body.
- Start to focus on your breath feeling your stomach expand as you slowly inhale.
- Then be aware of your stomach flattening as you slowly exhale.
- Stopping the chatter of your mind is difficult so focus on one individual sound. I love to hear birds singing so that is my calming sound. Yours may be something else like the leaves rustling in the breeze or the distant hum of an aeroplane.
- Try to forget everything else its all about being ‘in the moment’. Nothing else but you and the calm that surrounds you.
- Do this for as long as feels right for you, like I say I don’t time myself.
- After a while, don’t send yourself to sleep, start being aware of your breathing again, your stomach rising and falling.
- When you are ready open your eyes and have a good stretch to reawaken your body.
- Stand up slowly so you don’t get a rush of oxygen to your head and end up on the floor again! Then have a good shake or jig about the room. This helps you to warm up your muscles and gives you a good kick start.
So, what do you think? Are you going to give this a go. It certainly helps me. My mind is often a cluttered up mess, ask my long suffering husband, and this does help.
If I get too wound up in the day I stop close my eyes and breathe slowly for a few minutes to give my brain a break. That’s the good thing about this exercise you can do it anywhere, as long as you are on your own. You may get a few funny looks otherwise!
But on a more serious note life is so fast paced full of pressure and stress. Its bad for your health mentally and physically. You need to think about your body, your mind, your needs. So if this helps then just do it!
Do you have any breathing exercises to start you day on a positive note? Please let me know in the comments.