Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

I've been doing breathing exercises regularly for the past 8 years. Complete game changer for emotional regulation. I've also organized and taught it in schools, prisons, offices, etc. on a volunteer basis.

I like it because it's not a logical activity. Nobody has to be convinced that it works or makes sense. If you breathe in a certain way, your feelings will change (or something noticeable will happen) whether you believe in it or not.

I'm happy it's becoming more mainstream. Even if you don't do it regularly, it's a good thing to learn.






I'd recommend starting with Alternate Nostril breathing and Bhastrika. Each exercise takes about 5 minutes each. For both exercises, try them with the eyes open until you can do it with eyes closed. Then follow the routine.

Alternate Nostril Breathing (ANB) Routine: 2 minutes ANB. Rest* 1 minute. 2 minutes ANB. Benefits: Good for when you're feeling overwhelmed by tech or too many thoughts at Video example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VwufJrUhic (3:20 - 4:56) Notes: A lot of the videos I've found online have an awkward hand posture. I'm not sure it's necessary. The general idea is to close one nostril at a time and alternate breathing.

Bhastrika / Bellows breathing (BB) Benefits: Good for energy. Routine: 3 sets of 20 BB. Rest* 30 seconds between sets. Video example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DByVSR2fX0k&t=1s. Notes: It might look a little funny, but it's worth a try. If you can, I would recommend sitting in vajrasana (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vajrasana_(yoga)). No worries if you can't sit like that.

Rest means sit with your eyes closed and breathe normally. Rest your hands on your lap palm facing up.

Bonus* Ujayyi Breathing (UJ) Benefits: Really nice and really subtle breathe you can do anywhere. This is actually a very useful breath to be aware of. Routine: 2 minutes UJ. Rest* 1 minute. 2 minutes UJ. Video example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwEdfOuhoY4 Notes: Foundational breath for yoga and pranayama (pranayama means breath control)

I personally do pranayama (3-stage pranayama w/ UJ breathing) with bhastrika and a kriya breathing exercise (SKY breathing) every morning. I also occasionally do alternate nostril breathing before meditation. This is something simpler, though, that I think anyone can try out and see if it works for them or not. There are also a lot of other good comments in this thread, but this is what I have personal experience with.


Not sure how ANB plays with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nasal_cycle

It’s supposed to balance it out.

How are you able to breath in with your other nostril? Only one nostril works to breathe at a time for me.

Use a finger/thumb to close a nostril and then breath from the other. If you can't really breath with a nostril due to some physical issue that's a different thing.

For the people asking for a routine I would recommend “Light on Prãnãyãma: The Yogic Art of Breathing” by B. K. S. Iyengar. All the info you could ever want and more. I have had a regular pranayama practice for the past several years and this book really helps dial in the mechanics of it as well as some great history.

I dealt with serious anxiety in high school and accidentally learned that just forcing myself to breathe slower made everything much calmer.

No need to overthink any special technique. Just breathe slow, and try not to breathe too shallow. Do it as an exercise for a few minutes. Breathe with the stomach (not chest), like a baby would.


Exactly, you don’t need a whole book of techniques (I have been teaching yoga for a decade)

One book I particularly recommend is “the healing power of the breath” , the exercise is very simple, basically just establishing a rhythm that works for your body type, and then you are good to go.

Thats not to say there’s not value into the pranayamas (breathing exercises) of yoga, but for pure efficacy just establishing a good rhythm is actually easy to learn and use.


I've heard about people that basically do this constantly everyday essentially making their diaphragms stronger . I feel like I need to go to class to learn this . I just to the basics which is slow breathing through the nose and fill air specifically in the stomach region . Hold . Exhale through the mouth slowly . Repeat

what sort of exercises? is there a particular technique?

The most basic one I have seen everywhere, in different forms, is to

A)focus on the breath, or a part of the body affected by breath like your lips or chest or stomach B)diaphragmatic breathing in thru nose and out thru mouth C)inhale for x seconds, hold for x seconds, exhale for x seconds, hold for x seconds, repeat

And over time train x seconds to become longer and longer. You might start with 4 or 6 seconds at first.


I can heartily recommend the book “the healing power of breath” , easy technique (adapted from yoga) and no need to think about all sorts of steps, just the breath rhythm you need to “get” It also comes with audio tracks.

For a while I dove into this topic heavily and it seemed that most of the resources I’ve found were good and surprisingly similar as the sample size got larger. Initially I was pretty skeptical about some being less authentic but that mattered less as I’ve gone on. Sorry for avoiding the question, but I’d say doing some research will reveal its own path that will be somewhat personal and different than others’.

search for Pranayam, it is a very popular Indian technique and closely related to Yogic exercises as well

I've been worried in recent years about getting a big gut from diaphragmatic breathing. My BMI is low but when I breath that way (and when it feels best) my belly can really stick out. Do you have any opinion on this?

Don't worry. It's better to breathe correctly than hold tension in your abs all day.

Please share!

I am VERY interested in your techniques, and I'm sure many others will benefit directly from your wisdom if you choose to share it.

Do you have a video?


Can you share something about your technique?

As someone who has been teaching yoga for a decade, the only thing there is to “get” is finding the right rhythm for your body type (aka your lung capacity)

I can heartily recommend the book “the healing power of breath” , easy technique (adapted from yoga) and no need to think about all sorts of steps, just the breath rhythm you need to “get” It also comes with audio tracks.


Search for “pranayama” on YouTube etc. this is quite common for of exercise in in the Indian subcontinent but you might not be familiar if you are in the west or otherwise remote from the Indian/yoga culture

Edit:

Also Look into the books or talks (on YouTube) by Dr. Chris Willard


I replied to my parent post with a simple routine.

Please share a routine!

I replied to my parent post with a simple routine. Hope it helps.



Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: