In the winter months, temperatures drop, you bring out the warm clothes, the sun never seems to come out, and your skin feels like a dry, wretched mess of scales and sores. You may also notice an increase in appetite for food, but a lowered inclination to drink water.
Having set the mood, we use the second of our two part series to discuss breathing exercises that will help your body cope with the chills during the colder months.
Ujjayi Breathing, Or Victorious Breath
Added Benefits: Heals thyroid problems, common colds, phlegm, asthma, tonsillitis, and high blood pressure, and tones down loud snoring too. The concept is simple—to breath in and out slowly, deeply and loudly, strictly through your nose.
Step 1: Create a light constriction in the back of your throat.
Step 2: Inhale air in (through the lower belly, rising up to the lower rib cage, traveling up to the upper chest, and then finally the throat).
Step 3: Exhale slowly. For best results, combine ujjayi breathing with sun salutations.
Simhasana, Or Lions Breath
Added Benefits: Releases pent-up negative energy, stress, and tension.
Step 1: Sit in a comfortable seated position such as the Lotus Pose/Padmasana, or a kneeling position like the Vajrasana. If you’re busy or on the go, you can do this standing in one place as well.
Step 2: Inhale through your nose, squeezing all your facial muscles and energy inwards, and clench your fists until you go red in the face.
Step 3: Now release by exhaling through your mouth with a ‘ha’ sound, opening the mouth wide and sticking your tongue out. Attempt to touch your chin with the tongue. Keep your eyes wide and roll them up towards your third eye. Simultaneously open your fists. Repeat three times.
Consider these to be a means for igniting your internal heating systems. Add the breathing exercises to yoga for a full-body workout, and you’ll be fighting fit when the sun decides to shine again. If you missed the ideal breathing techniques we discussed for the summer months, here’s where you can catch them.