Using slow, yoga-inspired breathing techniques can calm your body and your mind. The easiest thing you can do to help yourself when stressing out or having a panic attack is to just take three slow, deep breaths.
The benefits can go way beyond a mere relaxation tool, though. It is actually the prelude to many different ways of going into deeper levels of consciousness, such as meditation, hypnotic trance, or visualization. And let's not forget the fact that it puts more oxygen into your bloodstream, which energizes and nourishes your bodily organs. This of course includes your brain, so you have improved brain function and focus. You get such an influx of oxygen that you might even get a little dizzy, so it's always advisable to make sure you are near a chair so you can sit down in case this happens.
To do a complete deep yoga breath, you first exhale completely. This will involve your abdominal muscles, meaning that you will contract those muscles as you exhale in order to push all the air out of your diaphragm after you've exhaled the initial breath from out of your lungs.
Next, you slowly begin inhaling through your nose, filling up your diaphragm first. If you are lying on your back, you will actually see your stomach rising as air fills up your diaphragm. Your lungs will be the last to fill with air.
At this point when you have completely inhaled, hold your breath for a very brief moment or two. This will give an extra push of oxygen into your bloodstream, nourishing all the cells of your body. Then, after a quick count of five or so, exhale through your mouth, letting the air flow out of your lungs with a slight "hissing" sound as your breath passes over your "o" shaped mouth. Then, as before, continue to push the remaining air out of your diaphragm by contracting your stomach muscles again.
Do this three times in a row and I guarantee you will feel revived - you might even rid yourself of a headache if you had one. This practice will reduce your stress and improve your focus, and it can help lead your mind into a deeper state of consciousness.
Do not do this while driving or operating machinery. The big influx
of oxygen experienced with a complete breath can sometimes cause