Strength of Center Fitness - The fusion of yoga and pilates.
Belly Breathing
When to try it:  In a stressful situation, like sitting in traffic.
How to do it: Sit upright with shoulders relaxed.  Take one regular breath and notice where it goes:  into your chest or into your abdomen. It may help to place a hand on your chest and see if your hand rises and falls.  If it does, this confirms that you are breathing into your chest, not your abdomen.
Next, inhale through your nose and imagine the air filling your abdomen; exhale.  On subsequent breaths, see if you can begin to increase the rise of your belly as you inhale more deeply.  Repeat as many times as you like, even 2 or 3 breaths are calming.
Focused Breathing
When to try it: If you can't fall asleep or need to quiet your mind.
How to do it: Position yourself flat on your back or upright in a chair.  Begin with a deep belly breath.  As you inhale, say a positive word or phrase to yourself.  Then, when exhaling, imagine breathing out a negative quality, like stress or anxiety.  This way, you are using your words to switch into a quiet, relaxed state of mind.
 
You can also visualize breathing in a soothing color.  Or, count as you breathe...in on one, out one two.  Whichever method you pick, try to do it for ten minutes at a time.
Alternate Nostril Breath
When to try it: First thing in the morning or after a workout.
How to do it: Sit in a chair or on the floor.  Bring your right hand up to your nose.  With your thumb, gently hold your right nostril closed and inhale through your left.  Release your right nostril and hold your left nostril closed with your right ring finger, exhale through your right.  Now close your left nostril with your ring finger and inhale.  Close your right nostril with your thumb and exhale through your left.  Continue alternating sides while breathing for 5 to 10 breaths.  Remember, keep head and neck in a neutral position and breath into your abdomen.
 
Also taken from the article Just Breathe, Real Simple, 11/2009, written by Lisa Whitmore.
Website Builder provided by  Vistaprint