The Breathing Technique to Increase Your Focus & Wake you up

My mom introduced me to Yoga 7 years ago while I was going through the stress of high school final exams. I needed to combine exercise with meditation to get my mind off the studies for a bit and at the same time I had to learn how to be present in the moment. This would help me concentrate on my studies when it was time to open the books and to be even more focused on the actual day of the exams.

There are so many studies which show the benefits of mindfulness meditation when it comes to increasing focus & attention. And I’d heard from many people of the benefits they’d seen first hand.

So I got to practice and learn different breathing techniques based on the practice:

Box Breathing

I use this technique every morning after waking up and before heading to work. It helps me slowly wake up with energy, good humour and immediately focus on my daily tasks.

How to do it:

  1. Sit comfortably.
  2. Seal your lips and take a deep breath in, completely fill your lungs. Exhale, let all the air out.
  3. Inhale deeply through your nose for the count of 5. Hold for the count of 5. Exhale for the count of 5.
  4. Empty your lungs completely and hold your breath out for the count of 5. Continue for 4 rounds.

I would recommend you use this technique when you wake up, but you can also practice just before a stressful event, like for example: an interview, oral presentation, written exam, etc. Basically, anything that requires your focus and presence.

Simple Breathing Exercise To Give You More Energy

This technique makes you feel more energised, helps you think clearly and focus more on your tasks, without any distractions.

How to do it:

  1. Sit up straight in a chair.
  2. Place your hands on your stomach.
  3. Inhale through your nose (which filters the air before entering your lungs) and breathe into your stomach, feeling it extend outward (as opposed to your chest).
  4. Exhale through your nose or your mouth by pushing your stomach in and up (never down).

Breathe in a Square Technique

This technique helps you wake up and increases your Qi flow — (Qi translates as "air" and figuratively as "material energy", "life force", or "energy flow").

How to do it:

  1. Sit down with a good posture, or lie on your back.
  2. Breathe normally through your nose for a while, so that you slow down and relax.
  3. Now, start a strictly regulated breathing: choose a fixed time for each phase of it. Inhale for five seconds followed by a just as long exhalation.
  4. When this works smoothly, you should add the same length of time after the inhalation, where you hold your breath with a feeling of continued inhalation. Do not tighten your body to hold your breath, but sort of continue with the inhalation although you get no more air.
  5. After exhaling for the same length of time, add an equal period where you have a feeling of continued exhalation, although no more air leaves you.
  6. Now you are breathing in a square: Five seconds of inhaling, five seconds of a continued feeling of inhaling, five seconds of exhaling, and five seconds of a continued feeling of exhaling. Do it over and over.

Try these breathing techniques and see if they help you like they have me.

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