Fighting stress with square breathing

Fighting stress with square breathing. Looking for an easy way to de-stress after a busy day? Do you need a break to regain your concentration? Is there something you are not satisfied with? Very well, then square breathing is for you: all you need to do this pranayama practice is your mind, your breath and a handful of minutes. 🙂

In this article, you will find out:

  • What is square breathing?
  • How is this done?
  • Options

Vritti pranayama itself, also called “square breathing”, is derived from the Sanskrit “sama”, meaning “equal”, and “vritti”, meaning “movement or oscillation”.

It’s a breath that can ease and relax the flood of thoughts that fill our minds, and it succeeds in doing so by promoting concentration on a series of movements – or vibrations, or constructions – imaginary that help us bring order to chaos.

  • Square breathing has a calming effect on the nervous system in the fight against stress;
  • It helps to cope with difficult and stressful situations;
  • Regulates blood pressure and heart rate;
  • Strengthens the immune system;
  • Square breathing is useful for fighting insomnia.

As with all or most Pranayama practices, it should ideally be performed in a comfortable position, with legs crossed and back straight.

Nevertheless, even in all those cases when you don’t know what to do, when time is short and you feel the need to “trick your mind”, you can try this simple breathing practice.

The main feature of square breathing is to imagine that you are drawing a square in your mind and combine the “construction” of each side with a breathing act, holding an inhalation, an exhalation and two pauses between them for the same time. It doesn’t matter how long your square lasts – 2, 3 or 4 seconds – the main thing is to find your own breathing rhythm and maintain it throughout the exercise.

However, do not turn your squares into trapezoids. 🙂

square breathing

  • Sit in a comfortable position with your legs crossed
  • Relax your hands in your lap and start listening to your spontaneous breathing
  • Perform several cycles of full yoga breathing
  • Then, while inhaling, measure the duration of your breath and imagine that you are painting one side of a square
  • Hold your breath and draw the other side of the square;
  • Draw a third party as you exhale;
  • Hold your breath and draw the fourth side

You should feel that you can continue this practice indefinitely without getting tired.

As soon as you realise that you can no longer maintain balance with the rhythm of the breath, stop the practice without continuing it.

If you find it difficult to maintain breathing pauses, you can turn the squares into rectangles! For example, inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 2, exhale for 4, hold for 2.

Keep drawing squares until you get bored… but try to get to at least four. Usually a few minutes of practice is enough to calm your mind.

There are many variations that you can do in combination with this breath.

If you wish, you can also link your breathing time to your heartbeat, although you should already have some listening skills to hear it.

If you need a hint, you can use the image above; start by inhaling to the right, colour the side of the square pink; hold your breath and colour in yellow, exhale green, hold your breath in purple.

Keep squaring! –🧡

Intrusive thoughts are one of the most unpleasant feelings we can experience. Our mind moves…

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