Today in the final week of our ‘Breathe and Bend’ series, we explored Breath of Joy. This breath technique is ideal first thing in the morning, or mid-afternoon when you need a pick me up. Who needs a shot of coffee when you can do breathwork! It involves synchronising breath and arm movements with three inhalations and one exhalation.
Benefits of Breath of Joy
– Awakens and energises your body
– Oxygenates your blood
– The forceful exhalation at the end of each round helps to detoxify and release stress
– Leaves you feeling calm and focused when the parasympathetic nervous system kicks in afterwards
– Brings about focus and balance (in yoga this is known as a state of sattva)
– Aids in combatting feelings of depression
– Encourages deep breathing and full use of lungs (counters shallow breathing)
– Strengthens arms and shoulders
To practise Breath of Joy, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and parallel, knees slightly bent.
- Inhale one-third of your lung capacity and swing your arms up in front of your body, bringing them parallel to each other at shoulder level, with palms facing the ceiling.
- Continue inhaling to two-thirds capacity and stretch your arms out to the side like wings to shoulder level.
- Inhale to full capacity and swing your arms parallel and over your head, palms facing each other.
- Open your mouth and exhale completely with an audible ha, bending the knees more deeply as you sink into a standing squat and swing your arms down and back behind you like a diver.
- Repeat up to nine times. Don’t force or strain the body or breath.