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stress reducing

3 Breathing Rituals That Will Calm You The F Down ~ for Byrdie

Commisions, Mindfulness & Meditation, Natural Living, Pranayama, Rituals, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment
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I don't know about you but I can get stressed out. Modern life isn't exactly a walk in the park. But thankfully, you don't need to spend loads of money or time ridding yourself of worry. Apparently, breathwork is the secret to a calmer day, according to wellness guru Danielle Copperman, who practices breathing exercises on the daily.

We've talked about the importance of breathing before and how it can be a simple, quick and free way to de-stress when life throws you a curveball. But, Copperman doesn't just wait use breathwork as a cure. She uses it as a preventative, too. There is one breathwork sequence she uses on the regular and two that are cooling, great for hot, humid summer days.

So what are you waiting for? Breathe your way into a better day.

Breath Retention Pranayama

The morning is an ideal time to practise pranayama (prana meaning life force and ayana meaning to extend or draw out) before your mind has the chance to start worrying too much about the day ahead. When you wake up with morning anxiety, focused breathing is a simple technique to help stop any kind of irrational thoughts and negative feelings in their tracks, preventing them from developing into a full-blown bout of stress that’ll stay with you throughout the day. Meditating in the morning instils not only a sense of calm but also an established sense of awareness and consciousness, which in many ways will help you experience more deeply, and feel more present in each moment.

1. Stand, sit or lie in a comfortable position, preferably in a quiet and undisturbed environment. Rest your hands on your knees if sitting on the floor, or by your side if standing, sitting on a chair or lying down. Notice any internal or external sensations such as thoughts and feelings or outside noise and distractions, and without trying to change anything, focus on nothing but settling.

2. With eyes open or closed and breathing in and out through your nose, become aware of the rhythm of your breath, relaxing your shoulders, your neck and your head. Begin to deepen the breath, taking a long inhale through the nose and exhaling fully to expel every last inch of the breath from your lungs. Observe how the breath feels entering and exiting the nose and the way the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation.

3. On an inhale, notice when your lungs reach full capacity, and pause for a moment before exhaling fully. As you take your next inhalation, count the length of your breath, in seconds, pause at the top of your inhale for the same number of seconds you inhaled for, and exhale for the same number of seconds. Repeat this cycle a couple of times, and if the breath allows, gradually increase the length of each inhalation, breath retention and exhalation, keeping the ratio 1:1:1.

Allow a few weeks of practising daily before extending the length of retention. Over time, increase to 8 seconds, but beginners are advised to work at 4 to 6 seconds. The practice should feel natural, effortless and entirely free from strain. As you retain the breath, feel as if the oxygen is sinking in and distributing itself, filling the tissues of your body.

4. You can either repeat the same counts in one practice (for example, working to a count of three for your entire practice) or you can increase the number of counts within one practice (for example, working to a count of three, inhaling, pausing and exhaling, and then increasing to a count of four, inhaling, pausing and exhaling, and then increasing again to five and maybe six, to however many seconds you can breathe comfortably).

5. Practise for up to 5 minutes, and sit in stillness for a few moments to readjust, before continuing your day. Once you are familiar with this practice and feel comfortable to develop further, work to a ratio of 1:2:3, for example, if you inhale for the count of 2, hold the breath for 4 and exhale for 6.

I don't know about you but I can get stressed out. Modern life isn't exactly a walk in the park. But thankfully, you don't need to spend loads of money or time ridding yourself of worry. Apparently, breathwork is the secret to a calmer day, according to wellness guru Danielle Copperman, who practices breathing exercises on the daily.

We've talked about the importance of breathing before and how it can be a simple, quick and free way to de-stress when life throws you a curveball. But, Copperman doesn't just wait use breathwork as a cure. She uses it as a preventative, too. There is one breathwork sequence she uses on the regular and two that are cooling, great for hot, humid summer days.

So what are you waiting for? Breathe your way into a better day.

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PHOTO: COURTESY OF DANIELLE COPPERMAN

Breath Retention Pranayama

The morning is an ideal time to practise pranayama (prana meaning life force and ayana meaning to extend or draw out) before your mind has the chance to start worrying too much about the day ahead. When you wake up with morning anxiety, focused breathing is a simple technique to help stop any kind of irrational thoughts and negative feelings in their tracks, preventing them from developing into a full-blown bout of stress that’ll stay with you throughout the day. Meditating in the morning instils not only a sense of calm but also an established sense of awareness and consciousness, which in many ways will help you experience more deeply, and feel more present in each moment.

1. Stand, sit or lie in a comfortable position, preferably in a quiet and undisturbed environment. Rest your hands on your knees if sitting on the floor, or by your side if standing, sitting on a chair or lying down. Notice any internal or external sensations such as thoughts and feelings or outside noise and distractions, and without trying to change anything, focus on nothing but settling.

2. With eyes open or closed and breathing in and out through your nose, become aware of the rhythm of your breath, relaxing your shoulders, your neck and your head. Begin to deepen the breath, taking a long inhale through the nose and exhaling fully to expel every last inch of the breath from your lungs. Observe how the breath feels entering and exiting the nose and the way the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation.

3. On an inhale, notice when your lungs reach full capacity, and pause for a moment before exhaling fully. As you take your next inhalation, count the length of your breath, in seconds, pause at the top of your inhale for the same number of seconds you inhaled for, and exhale for the same number of seconds. Repeat this cycle a couple of times, and if the breath allows, gradually increase the length of each inhalation, breath retention and exhalation, keeping the ratio 1:1:1.

Allow a few weeks of practising daily before extending the length of retention. Over time, increase to 8 seconds, but beginners are advised to work at 4 to 6 seconds. The practice should feel natural, effortless and entirely free from strain. As you retain the breath, feel as if the oxygen is sinking in and distributing itself, filling the tissues of your body.

4. You can either repeat the same counts in one practice (for example, working to a count of three for your entire practice) or you can increase the number of counts within one practice (for example, working to a count of three, inhaling, pausing and exhaling, and then increasing to a count of four, inhaling, pausing and exhaling, and then increasing again to five and maybe six, to however many seconds you can breathe comfortably).

5. Practise for up to 5 minutes, and sit in stillness for a few moments to readjust, before continuing your day. Once you are familiar with this practice and feel comfortable to develop further, work to a ratio of 1:2:3, for example, if you inhale for the count of 2, hold the breath for 4 and exhale for 6.

Cooling Breath

These two cooling techniques are ideal for regulating body temperature. The sitali involves creating a straw-like shape with the tongue and inhaling through it; as the air passes through the tongue, it collects moisture. If you can't roll your tongue, use the sitkari method. This technique is also thought to reduce anxiety, regulate the natural appetite and hydrate the system.

Sitali

1. Sit in a comfortable position, either on the floor with crossed legs on the floor or on a chair with your feet flat, however is comfortable, ensuring the head, neck and spine are aligned.

2. Close your eyes and breathe naturally for a few moments. Relax the mouth and then drop the jaw open, as if you were about to make a low ah sound.

3. Curl the sides of your tongue inwards to form a tube-like shape, and then poke it out of your mouth slightly, but with little effort.

4. Inhale deeply through the tongue, as if drinking the air in through a straw. Focus your attention on the cooling sensation of the breath and the rise of your abdomen, rib cage and chest. Retain the breath here for 5 to 10 counts, or release it instantly as directed in step 5.

5. Draw the tongue back inside your mouth, bring your lips together comfortably and exhale slowly through the nostrils.

6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 10 to 20 times, or however many times feels comfortable, and bring the practice to a close when you feel cooled and content.

Sitkari

1. Sit in a comfortable position, either on the floor with crossed legs on the floor or on a chair with your feet fat, however is comfortable, ensuring the head, neck and spine are aligned.

2. Close your eyes and breathe naturally for a few moments, then gently bring your lower and upper teeth together. Part your lips as much as you can to expose your teeth.

3. Inhale slowly through the teeth, letting the air flow through the gaps between each tooth, and focus on the feeling of the air against your teeth, entering the mouth, filling your abdomen, lungs and ribcage, and on the hissing sound of the breath.

4. Close your mouth, relax the jaw and the teeth and exhale slowly through the nose.

5. Repeat steps 4 and 5 10 to 20 times, or however many times feels comfortable, and bring the practice to a close when you feel cooled and content.


Shop equipment

February Essentials _ 2018

Essentials, Monthly Essentials, Natural Livingdanielle coppermanComment

I recently connected with the team over at Ecoage - a brand consultancy founded by Livia Firth that helps businesses to grow sustainably, by creating, implementing and communicating sustainability solutions. They run such inspiring initiatives and projects, including the #30Wears, #TheGreenCarpetChallenge and The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange, based on collaboratively curated garments which take into consideration the supply chain, natural recycled or renewable materials and ethical work and labour practices. Last month they opened The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange exhibition  in partnership with Swarovski, The Woolmark Company and MATCHESFASHION.COM, at Australia House; open until the end of April.

This new power machine is never being put away. It's out in the morning awaiting its smoothie duty, and it's gotten me through the colder days with its soup setting.

I first discovered Stress Dots whilst studying Holistic Massage last year. They are such a relevant and unique tool for managing stress, helping you to be more aware of you moods and most importantly your stress and anxiety levels. With the colour-coded key, you can monitor your levels of fear and nervousness; almost like a notification as a reminder to take a breather.

I, Tonya is as good as you think it's going to be. Maaaaargot!

The Hunter Technique is by far one of my new favourite workouts, and in fact, it’s nothing new at all. With Jermaine Hunter, you get back to basics and embrace your inner animal, returning to the innate primal ways that have been suppressed as society and the human race has evolved. Think crawling, climbing, swinging and walking like monkeys, ducks, lizards and more. Working out this way is more like playing; a combination of discovering how many ways your body is designed to move, and seeing how much true strength you really have. It instills a sense of exploration and excitement and requires a focus and concentration like no other workout. You will leave sweaty and feeling challenged, but you don’t leave stressed or short of breath, or feeling agonisingly depleted. Also known as Calisthenics, the movements involved are simultaneously calming and strengthening, demanding for both the body and mind and creating a strong body-mind connection. And when you begin to rediscover what the body is designed to do and just how out of touch you've become with it, you'll be more inspired than ever to get stronger and fitter.

I discovered this artisan homeware brand in a gift store in Clifton, Bristol and I think everyone should know about it. 

During London Fashion Week, I met the founders of www.wearthewalk.co.uk; an organisation which showcases up and coming, new, young designers, and through a monthly subscription program, offers a service whereby you can rent these special pieces - most of which are made by hand and in small batches - whenever you want.

Just in time for #InternationalWomansDay, this @ChintiandParker x @WomenForWomen International collaboration is a reminder that there is so much good in the world. All proceeds from sales go to Women For Women International to help women survivors of war to rebuild their lives.

Last week I met some representative of Nude By Nature; Beauty Thats Good For You;
made with powerful native Australian ingredients, omitting synthetic components and preservatives. I'm loving their bronzer, primer, loose powder eye shadows and moisturising under-eye concealer.

Espa's fitness body oil is unlike anything you have ever put on your body before. And they've just launched a shower oil version. Apply as an oil and enjoy as it mixes with the shower water into an overpowering, aromatic lather.

Errrmm; yes to everything. Why do birthdays only happen once a year?

This Paloma Wool must-have is back in stock.

I tried out such an amazing yoga class at @heartcore with @timcyoga, called XYB yoga. Its a fusion of yoga and pilates and whilst it's more challenging that standard yoga classes and flows more like a fitness class, it is super calming and relaxing in it's own way.

Essential oil of the moment: Vetiver

James Vincent McMorrow (I Lie Awake Every Night + Higher Love)

Austin & Austin - aesthetically, organically and ethically with it. All of their products are certified organic and tested only on people. All of their packaging is made from 100% recycled materials and is fully recyclable.

Gigi x Vogue Eyewear's new collection; in particular, these.

Received a Chakra Bracelet at an event I attended recently. 

Finally, a protein powder that doesn't taste artificial or have a sickening sweetness. Personally, I can't bear most protein powders as I find them too sickly, but when I'm working out a lot, Innermost's vegan Health blend in Creamy Vanilla is a post-workout smoothie/shake game changer. (They also do whey-based products too).

The latest addition to the Qnola Family - Quinoa Oat Crunch - has arrived. Same organic British-grown quinoa, same all-natural, functional ingredients, now with added crunch thanks to a dose of fibre-rich gluten free oats. You are welcome.

This Curpo/Viscose slip strap top by Cossac is not only overly wearable, day and night, it's also made ethically by hand, and sustainably, using renewable fabrics.

These dream jeans from H&M. I found them hiding round a corner on the top floor of the store on regents street as I was leaving the store. Am gonna get my #30wears out of them that's for sure.

(These posts consist of a naturally curated collection of things I truly adore, and are not sponsored unless openly stated)