How many times, due to stress and hectic life, we can find ourselves breathing superficially? Yet good breathing is the basis for the well-being of body and mind. This is why today we will practice a sequence of respiratory gymnastics together, to help improve digestion, counteract stress, clean and open the airways but also reduce wrinkles and brighten the skin.
The first exercise is diaphragmatic breathing. Lie on your back and place one hand on your belly and one on your chest. The aim is that, during breathing, only the hand on the belly is raised and lowered while the hand on the chest must remain stationary. Inhale and watch your belly swell. Breathe out letting the air flow, without forcing it. Go on like this.
The second exercise is a pranayama, kapalabhati. Sit cross-legged. Join the thumb and forefinger of each hand and place your hands on your knees. Inhale, then, exhaling, force the air out of the nostrils, contracting the abdominal muscles. Then inhale spontaneously, letting the air in without forcing.
The third exercise is alternate nostril breathing. With the thumb of the right hand plug the right nostril. Inhale for 4 seconds. Then lift your thumb and plug the left nostril with the index finger of the same hand. Exhale for 4 seconds. Then inhale for four seconds. Lift your index finger and plug the right nostril with your thumb, exhale for 4 seconds then inhale for another four seconds. Continue like this.
The fourth exercise is fractional breathing. Interlace your fingers, close your hands and bring them to face level. Inhale through the nose in a fractional way, taking many breaks, until the lungs are filled. Pause, then exhale in a fractional way until your lungs are empty, continue like this.
Keeping your hands as in exercise 4, inflate your cheeks with air and blow between your thumbs which, when joined, form a small slit. This is excellent anti-wrinkle gymnastics.