The Samahita Blog

Breathwork Routine to Handle Anxiety and Manage Stress

By Paul Dallaghan

Below is a practice to counter the rising chronic effects of anxiety leading to stress burden. Further work can develop the breath as a personally empowering routine which requires a sequence beyond that recommended in this 10-minute practice. Refined practice with the breath tends to fall under the classical Pranayama techniques which we teach at Samahita Retreat. There is a distinction between breathwork and Pranayama yet both involve the breath.

C: A regular breathwork routine to handle anxiety and manage stress:

Combine the breathwork prescriptions of A and B with the Quad-Ratio Breath 10-minute practice, as follows:

  1. Lay down and relax – first on your back and notice relaxation across the body X 10
  2. Lay on your belly – do a medium breath level, inhale focused, anxiety reduction X 10
  3. Quad-Ratio Breath – follow the instructions and build from 1-pause-1-pause up to a measured level of 1-1-2-1 as follows: 1(inhale)-1(pause in)-2(exhale)-1(pause out)
  4. Bee Breath – “Ngggmmmm” dropping the measured pauses follow a double length exhale with the humming sound (as above) from your naso-pharyngeal to soft palate space, inhale remains as normal through the nose
  5. Lay down and relax – either on your belly or back and be with the remaining breath

This routine routine is designed to handle anxiety and manage stress. To use breathwork to manage anxiety or panic attack see this article(A). For breathwork in response to an ongoing anxious state of being see this article (B).

TheQuad-Ratio Breath”, a simple and highly effective practice, can be done in 10 minutes.

To learn more on the background and how these routines are integrated within a more comprehensive approach to stress and anxiety see these two articles.

Paul Dallaghan’s expertise with breathwork, body and meditative practices comes from three sources: over 25 years of daily dedicated practice and teaching these techniques; immersion in the original culture through one-on-one direct training in practice and study of ancient texts; doctoral scientific research at a leading US university (Emory) on yoga and breath in terms of stress, health and aging. Paul occupies a unique space to impart genuine teaching and science on these practices, acknowledged by his teacher and lineage (Kuvalayananda) in India as a Teacher-of-teachers and a Master of Breath, identified to carry the tradition (Pranayama). This places him as the only master-level yoga and breath practitioner currently immersed in scientific academic research on breathwork, stress and health. His sincere and ongoing role is to teach, write and research to help put out experienced and authentic information on these areas in a world full of confusion and conflicting messages both off and online.

For more on his background see his bio.

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