Gridlock Yoga – calm down in the car!

With frustation and road rage everywhere, everyone, especially pregnant moms, need to learn how to calm down in the car.  Here are 5 different types of breathing exercises to help you:  slow down, relax, detox and activate your core.  After doing these five breathing exercises you will feel invigorated and ready to handle anything–even the long commute!

1.  Take a deep breath in through your nose (make sure your mouth is closed), hold the breath for a moment, and then take 10 seconds (that’s the goal!) to exhale through your mouth.  Repeat this 5x’s.  You should feel the beginning of your exhalation (counts 1,2,3) up at the top of your torso, towards the middle of the exhalation (counts 4,5,6) traveling down your torso, and by the end of your exhalation (counts 8,9,10) you should feel your lower abdominal (transverse abdominal–which is the most difficult to activate!). 

2.  Breath work for the Pilates 100.  Inhale through your nose for 5 seconds–keeping your mouth closed, then, exhale through your mouth for 5 seconds.  The inhalation should sound like a sniff.  These are percussive breaths, forcing you to engage the abdominals. The exhalation should sound like “shh, shh, shh, shh, shh,”  Repeat 10x’s

3.  Repeat the breath work for the Hundred but instead of a percussive breath, switch to a smooth breath.  Inhale through the nose for 5 seconds, exhale through the mouth for 5 seconds.

4.  Now close your mouth.  Inhale through your nose for 5 seconds, and exhale through your nose for 5 seconds.  Remember to keep your mouth closed.  Repeat 10x’s

 5.  For our last exercise, move the breath from your nose to the back of your throat.  Your mouth stays closed, you might feel a tickle in the back of your throat, and your body will create a sound similar to an ocean wave.  Welcome to Ujjayi breathing!  Ujjayi breathing is a diaphragmatic breath, it helps with detox and will leave you feeling centered and at peace.

By this point you should be feeling relaxed…and maybe even forget about the traffic jam!

– Natalie Mirsky – founder, owner and instructor at Body Wellness, Los Angeles, California

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