A Weapon Against Stress by Maria Hrisoheraki3 min read

We often turn our attention to our breath when we climb up stairs, or when we practice yoga. But for the most of the day we don’t pay attention to the way we breath. If we get used to make a quick control to our breath during the day, we can easily recognize our stress levels and improve the quality of our life.

Deep and full breathing can overcome the obstacle of stress and send clearer messages to our nervous system.

On the other hand surface breathing is the natural reaction to a stressful situation. At the same time, messages are sent to our nervous system that something is wrong, and this fact activates even more stress.

This way, even if you sit and work at your computer and everything seems fine, you may give the order to your body to release the stress hormones-especially if you sit humbly, since the bad stance compresses the torso, and this limits the lungs and you end up with surface breathing.

This situation may looks like a dead end but you can fix it easily. The only thing you have to do is to start taking some deep full breaths. Deep breathing causes a relaxing reaction. And the good thing is that you can do them everywhere you want and in just a few seconds – even in the middle of a really important appointment, during a flight or just when you are waiting in a row.

Below I give you some ideas on how you can transform your next breath into full, soothing and relaxing:

Help yourself

Place your hand to your belly exactly below your belly button. At your next inhalation breath deep until you feel your stomach inflating and your hand moving away from your spine. With the exhalation pull your belly inside, in order your hand to come backwards and release as much air as you can – without pressuring yourself.

Make a long exhalation

Make a sigh or pretend that you are wiping out a candle or just exhale for as long as you can. Anyway you choose to do it take out as much air as you can – always without pressure. This way a space will be created that will cause a big, deep and relaxing inhalation, that will come effortlessly.

 

Maria Hrisoheraki, Certified Iyengar Yoga Instructor

Read More About Maria Hrisoheraki:

Maria Hrisoheraki started practicing yoga as a teenager and for many years she explored some of the most famous systems in yoga: Sivananda, Satyananda, and Yoga Works. In 2002 she came across Iyengar Yoga and was hooked immediately.

Her first class made her feel like a total beginner, stiff and sore. But she kept going and today she is a certified Iyengar yoga teacher, Intermediate Junior 3.

She keeps attending Iyengar yoga teacher training courses, to fulfill her constant need for better and deeper understanding in yoga, and frequently attends Iyengar Yoga seminars with world acclaimed teachers like Penny Chaplin, Eyal Shifroni, and Carrie Owerko.

Apart from teaching and learning, she has the opportunity to contact the world by sharing her thoughts about yoga. She is active in social media and blogger at the Greek branch of Huffington Post which is one of the biggest news organizations in the world. Also, she is a columnist at “NaturaNRG”, the leading health and wellness free-press magazine in Greece. She is the foundress and owner of Pure Yoga ( www.pureyoga.gr).

Translated by Marianna Thimiaki

Photo Credits Sofia Revithi

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