Dealing with Stress – breathing

Recently, many of our new clients have mentioned about different kinds of stress they encounter. Yes, we all have different issues in life which causes stress in our body and/or the mind. Even advanced yoga practitioners can’t ignore this. However, if we practice yoga correctly, we do have the right tools to transform or eliminate stress.

Pranayama (yoga breathing technique) is one tool I want to share today. Some of the pranayama techniques are so easy to be incorporated into our daily life that we don’t even need a yoga mat. Correct breathing brings positive effects to our health, stress and confidence levels. On the other hand, incorrect breathing methods, such as shallow breathing, holding of the breath when anxious etc.  make the body more susceptible to different physical, mental and emotional problems.

How to breathe correctly? Let us introduce some basic practices.

Firstly, practice mindfulness breathing. Try to spend 3-5 mins with total awareness on breath each day. You may just focus on the in-and-out breath, or visualize air going in-and-out through the respiratory system while we breathe.

Secondly, practice abdominal breathing (or belly breathing). You may do this standing, sitting or lying position. Put one hand on the belly, breathe in through both nostrils and feel the belly expand; breathe out through the nostrils and push the belly gently back in. Make sure only the belly inflates as you inhale, not the chest. And try to slow down the breathing as much as possible.

These two practices are very effective in reducing stress levels. You will notice the difference immediately after 3-5 mins of practice. In the long run, I suggest you increase the practice time to 10 mins, even 20 mins, by which you will notice significant positive changes in the physical, mental and emotional level.

Happy breathing!

Get in touch with EzFit Singapore if you need to find ways to lower your stress levels.


Saravavan Nadarajan (Vanan)

Vanan, fitness expert and leader at EzFit Singapore, specializes in holistic training—home-based, boot camps, and corporate fitness—with over a decade of industry experience.