The Samahita Blog

Breathwork Routine to Handle Anxiety and Manage Stress

By Dr. 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.

Dr. Paul Dallaghan’s expertise with breathwork, body and meditative practices comes from three sources: (1) three decades of daily dedicated practice and teaching these techniques; (2) uniquely acknowledged in the Yoga tradition by the title of “Master Yogi-Prānācharya (expert in breath)”, following an immersion in the original culture through one-on-one direct training in practice and study of ancient texts; (3) a PhD in doctoral scientific research at a leading US university (Emory) covering both the tradition and science of yoga and breath practices in terms of stress, health and aging. As a result, Paul occupies a unique space to impart genuine teaching and science on the breath, body, and meditative practices, seen as a Teacher-of-teachers and identified to carry on the tradition of Pranayama. His sincere and ongoing role is to teach, write and research, to help put out experienced and authentic information on these areas of how we live, breathe and be, to help people improve their mental and physical health, and live more fulfilling lives.

For more on his background see his bio

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