Better Breathing – 3 Powerful Exercises to Try

Better Breathing – 3 Powerful Exercises to Try

Thank you for taking a few minutes to check our tips for Better Breathing.  We’ve been cheering you on from the sidelines here and feeling pretty good about the role we are playing in helping our existing accountant and bookkeepers to move faster and keep their clients on track during this insanely busy time. But we always find ourselves wondering what we can do to help those folks who are not using our product yet.

So we started looking at easy ways that ANYONE can reduce stress and get more done, no matter what tech stack they are using.  And the surprising thing that kept coming up was to breathe better

What?  Well – it turns out that everyone can do a better job of that.  Seriously.

It turns out that breathing isn’t just sucking air into your lungs to fuel your body’s essential functions. There are also some really AWESOME ways to take full advantage of simply feeding your lungs oxygen to make your body feel instantly better.

Your job is a very cerebral one. Your mind is constantly doing number-y things. To do what you do, be it bookkeeping or tax prep (or even getting up for a cup of coffee), the mind-body connection may not be something you give a lot of thought to…but it should be. It’s profound what that connection can do for you if you’re aware of some simple things.

The way you breathe can have a massive impact on things like cortisol levels, which controls the likes of stress levels, blood pressure, and blood-oxygen saturation just to name a few.

It’s Time to Learn Some New Breathing Techniques

At Liscio, we’re not just about helping you balance your work life. We want to help you destress, and sometimes all that takes is some creative breathing. NEVER underestimate the power of breathing. 

We’re going to focus on three breathing techniques that fall under what is called Pranayama Breathing. These techniques help increase energy and vitality while at the same time helping keep stress and tension in check. 

Kapalbhati Breath

The first technique is called a Kapalbhati Breath and it’s pretty awesome. 

Take a big, slow, deep breath making sure you are filling your stomach up first, then your lungs, making sure your collarbone is the last thing to move. The key here is to make sure those lungs are last. 

Next, exhale quickly. Imagine you’re putting out a fire and you have to get every last bit of air out ASAP! (We love this part.) 

Do that six more times for a total of seven big in-and-out breaths. 

Bask in the invigorating feeling you should have now if you’ve done it correctly. This exercise is great because that new oxygen in your lungs really has time to be absorbed.

Fun fact: did you know that higher levels of oxygen saturation can help your skin look its best? I didn’t either until I started looking into this stuff. Pretty cool, if you ask me. 

Shitali Breath

Next, let’s try the Shitali Breath. Fun name, even more fun effect. This one is a bit easier than the Kapalbhati Breath. Let’s go!

First thing, curl your tongue in the shape of an “O” like you used to do on the playground in third grade. (If you need to, take yourself back to that time when Bryan with a “Y” proclaimed by the swings that he didn’t think you could do it. We’ll wait.) 

Got it? Ok. 

Breath in long and slow through your tongue (I still got it, Bryan!), and focus on the cooling sensation you feel in your mouth. Hold that breath for 4-5 seconds before you, and this is important, SIGH it out through an open mouth. Do this until you feel relaxed. For me, it takes about four breaths before I’m there. 

Notice how awake your senses feel? Pretty awesome, huh. Take that, Bryan.

Another fun fact: part of that feeling you’re experiencing is a huge dose of oxygen marching through your bloodstream! That increase helps replace worn out cells, gives a natural boost of energy, helps bolster your immune system, assists in muscle repair, and helps fight infection (just to name five super awesome things simply breathing certain ways can do for you).

Bhramari Breath

Last one.  For most people, this is the most relaxing one. Perhaps you might choose to do this before bed?

This is called the Bhramari Breath. Get ready to channel your inner warrior for this one. First close your eyes. (Are they closed? They should be…but then you couldn’t keep reading this. So read this, then close them.) 

Once you’ve closed your eyes, take a DEEP breath. Really deeeeeep. If you aren’t a sufferer of seasonal allergies and your nasal cavities work as they should, inhale through your nose until your lungs are full to bursting. 

When you’re ready to exhale, do so by humming the letter “M” for as long as the breath will allow Shaolin Monk style. Pitch and volume don’t matter. Honestly, have fun with that part. Make your co-workers or kids think you’re losing it. Tax season, right?  Everyone’s a little crazy, so go with it.

Do this until you feel relaxed. Try to let your mind stay still. 

Give these a shot when you’re feeling stressed. Shoot, just do them when you feel like it. We don’t recommend doing the Bhramari Breath while driving though…keeping your eyes open is key in not hitting things. 

We’ve found that doing these simple breathing routines can help us stay ahead of stress and anxiety throughout the day.

Now do you feel like a breathing pro? Who would have thought that the WAY you breathe can have such a profound effect on how you feel?!

We’re here for you. So if you want to extend these feelings throughout your workday, we can help with that – Liscio accountant users experience lower stress levels since clients respond quickly to their inquiries and requests for documents. We’d love to show you how it can benefit your firm, and your life, when you are ready.

In the meantime, just breathe.  You’ve got this!

Liscio gives back!  For every demo we conduct, we donate 10 nourishing meals to children in need.  For every new firm that signs up with Liscio, we fund 30 days of education for children in the world.  Learn more here.