A 5-Minute Breathing Exercise for "Joyful Elimination"
This is a guest post by Adriana Rajewski of Enlightened Yoga. Adriana is a Yoga and meditation teacher, a health and wellness coach, and a body therapist. You can find links to learn more about her work at the bottom of this page.
I've had the pleasure of being a client of Adriana's for close to a decade, and am continually impressed both by her high level of technical knowledge and her intuitive understanding of the body.
I recently asked her for a simple self care practice to share with you; one that was both easy enough for a beginner, and quick enough to fit painlessly into a busy lifestyle. This was her recommendation - it's one I would have never thought of, but its beneficial effects are unquestionable when done daily!
When you think of overall health, what comes to your mind? Most likely you'll think of digestion as part of the equation.
Our digestive system works during the night, acting like a cleaning squad to remove debris and waste from our whole entire system.
Let's help it finish the job with a breathing exercise designed to give a bit of TLC to the place where digestion ends - your colon.
Today I will introduce you to a five-minute deep abdominal breathing exercise called "box breathing" (also known as "square breathing"). It will help to stimulate the digestive tract, encourage elimination, and start out your day on a positive note.
Many of us are experiencing higher levels of stress and anxiety than ever before. Stress within the nervous system can have wide-ranging effects, and often manifests as digestive disturbances.
Nothing is more nurturing to our nervous system than breathing. A gentle breathing practice, done with intention, can calm and rejuvenate, and return us to a state of relaxation.
While many breathing techniques are beneficial to the digestive system, box breathing is one of the easiest to try for beginners. This exercise can be done as part of your morning routine, after you brush your teeth.
1. Sit on the edge of your bathtub. Close your eyes and inhale slowly and deeply through the nose, expanding your abdominal cavity right up into your rib cage. You want to bring as much air as you can into the body so that your tummy feels completely full. Inhale for a slow count of four.
2. Hold for a count of four.
3. Exhale slowly and completely for a count of four.
4. Hold again for a count of four.
Repeat this four times.
You are ready to seize the day. Now go get your poop on! 😆
P.S. For another easy breathing exercise that you can do alone or with a little one, check out this post.
Find out more about Adriana and Enlightened Yoga on her website and Instagram. To further your journey of self-expansion and love, subscribe to her monthly “Health to Wealth” newsletter by submitting a request here.