Did you know that the best way to detox is right under your nose? Yep, breathing is detoxifying to the body and its free! In the practice of yoga it is called Pranayama (Sanskrit for 'vital energy') Yogis have for known for thousands of years that the practice of breathing calms the mind, rids the body of toxins, increases the circulation of oxygen, stimulates the lymphatic system, and helps relieve anxiety and depression.
Their are many breathing techniques that support the body to function at its best. Here are 2 simple breathing exercises to try.
1) Ujjayii breathing (Victorious Breath)- Sit in a comfortable position, inhale through the nose drawing the breath into the back of the throat, like a whisper. Then exhale pressing the breath out of the back of the throat, sounding like the ocean or 'Darth Vader.' When practiced properly, ujjayi pranayama should energize and relax. It also oxygenates the blood, builds internal body heat and removes toxins.
2) Circular breathing- Sit or lie comfortably allow your breath to be relaxed and natural. Simply follow your inhale into the lungs and exhale softly through the mouth. Aim for continuous and natural relaxed breaths. One of the main benefits of circular breathing is improving oxygen intake resulting in oxygen-rich blood flow. Better circulation increases overall energy and leads to liver detoxification.
Breathing is easy and affordable. The next time you are feeling sluggish and out of shape try 5-10 minutes of breathing and notice the refreshment and amount of energy you feel. Breathing can inspire you to start moving your body again. It can also help you to live more mindfully with clarity and moderation. To help you stay healthier over the holidays take 3 breaths before eating that second or third helping of holiday cheer, you might just find yourself putting those calories back on the table.