The Easy and Uplifting Breath of Joy

Happy woman in field of yellow flowers

The energizing Breath of Joy is a great way to begin your day!

The strong arm movements deliver an immediate release of pent-up tension, temporarily stimulating the sympathetic nervous system and increasing the level of oxygen in the bloodstream. In combination with the breathwork, this method leaves the mind calm and focused as the parasympathetic nervous system kicks in.

This breathing method counters the shallow chest breathing associated with anxiety as it clears the mind, leaving behind a sense of focus and clarity.  A great way to close your morning breathing session, this practice is the perfect antidote to an afternoon (or any time of day) slump. Helpful for releasing negative energy as well.

The 5-step Breath of Joy (review the steps prior to watching the video)

  1. Stand with feet hip-distance apart, knees slightly bent, as though you are about to sit down in a chair.
  2. Inhale to 1/3 of your lung capacity through the nostrils as you swing the arms up and straight out in front of you, keeping them parallel until they come to shoulder level.
  3. Continue to inhale to 1/3 capacity as you stretch your arms out to either side in a T position at shoulder level.
  4. Inhale to full capacity and continue to swing the arms straight up over the head, palms facing each other.
  5. Now open your mouth and exhale completely with a loud “ha” while you bend your knees more deeply, sinking into a standing squat and swinging your arms back behind you. You can repeat this up to 10 more times as you focus on coordinating the movement of the arms with the movement of the breath, finding your own rhythm.

Breath of Joy can be practiced seated as well.

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