Between today’s modern stresses and all that’s going on in the world, having a breathwork practice to calm the mind and ease your stress is absolutely imperative. We rely on the body and breath to keep us grounded and centered. The moments when you go really IN are when you focus on what’s going on underneath the surface. The best place to start? Your breath and lifeforce energy. Breathwork practices help slow a lot of high emotions from escalating.
Those few moments before you drift off to sleep can be deeply healing. By using breathwork or pranayama practices you have the ability to drop whatever is weighing you down to completely reset as you sleep and wake up ready to show up in the world as your best, most vibrant self.
During any sort of pranayama technique, focus on negative emotions and the physical sensation, which helps to calm the nervous system and rewire the brain to respond in healthier ways. It has the power to restore the body’s balance of energy.
Here are some of our favorite breathwork practices! Best of all, the first two you can even do with your kiddos. Grab a cup of hot tea with Berry Bee Honey or matcha latte with Green Dream and Green Bee Honey and set yourself up in your own sacred space.
My middle child and little lion, Leo, taught me the Butterfly Breath for everyday stress relief and relaxation. You sit in a comfortable seated position and cross your arms over your chest then begin to pat your hands on your shoulders and inhale then look to the left as you exhale. Inhale back at the center and exhale to your right. Repeat as often as you need.
This simple breathwork exercise helps to calm the mind as you focus on both your hands moving and the breath pattern. I love this breathwork because of its simplicity and one my kiddos can easily do to help tap them into mindfulness. It’s so beautiful what our children can teach us. They’re so tapped in - more than we know.
Sit in a comfortable seated position and spread your hand out in front of you and stretch your fingers out. You can choose your left hand or your right hand. Pretend the pointer finger of your other hand is a pencil and imagine you are going to trace around the outline of your hand and fingers. Place your pointer finger at the bottom of your thumb, and breathe in as you slide up. Breathe out as you slide down. Breathe in as you slide up your second finger, and breathe out as you slide down. Keep going until you have finished tracing your fingers and you have taken five slow breaths.
This breathwork is great because it activates several of your senses at the same time. You're watching and feeling your fingers while paying attention to your breath. It helps calm your entire body as you focus on your fingers and breath.
The 4-7-8 Breathing Method
Use the 4-7-8 breathwork exercise right as you settle into bed to put you into a deep, restorative sleep. Breathwork is an amazing mindfulness tool because we have the power to control and regulate it. The 4-7-8 breathwork pattern is a natural tranquilizer to your nervous system. It can be subtle when you first try it but the more you practice it the more you experience.
Follow these steps:
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
- Close your mouth and inhale through your nose, counting to 4.
- Hold your breath for a count of 7.
- Exhale completely out your mouth for a total of 8 counts, making a whoosh sound.
- This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle for a total of 4 breaths.