The festive season can take its toll if we’re honest, so whether you are up to your eyes in house guests needing food and attention, or whether you’re wishing you had more company over this period, try to find a few minutes now and again to check in with yourself and access some inner calm if that’s what you need. Your breath really is your greatest immediate aid to alleviate stress so try these two very simple breathing exercises. You only need a few minutes for each but keep going for as long as you feel like it – or until you’re called upon to serve the next round of canapes!

 

To help access a quick state of relaxation for both of these exercises, we suggest lying down on your bed and placing an eyebag (if you have one) over your eyes.

 

Mindful breathing

Lying still on your back, place your left hand on your belly and your right hand on your chest. Close your eyes and your mouth, move your jaw gently from side to side and check in with your facial muscles to ensure your whole face is relaxed – eyebrows, forehead, cheeks, tongue.

This is a simple awareness exercise, there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way of doing it, but the exercise is just for you to focus on your breath and become aware of where it is going and how it sounds and feels. Breathe in deeply but gently through the nostrils and notice where your breath is traveling to. Does your breath feel cool as it travels up your nostrils and warm when travelling down your nostrils?  Are your left hand and lower belly lifting and falling or is your right hand on your chest lifting and falling? Take several minutes just practicing and cultivating a smooth, unforced inhale and exhale. Just notice your breath, its sound and sensation.

 

Four sides breathing

Close your mouth, loosely move your jaw from side to side and then try to relax all the muscles in your face – your eyes, forehead, jaw and tongue. With your hands by your side, slowly inhale through the nostrils while counting to four in your head, hold your breath without force for a count of four, then gently exhale through the nostrils to a count of four, and with the lungs emptied count for four again. Start the round again.

Focus on the slow counting, keeping the breath even and listen to the sound of your breath as you’re counting.  It may help to visualise travelling around the four sides of a square. Notice how your breath feels as it travels in and out of the nostrils. Focussing on the sound and feeling your breath is making will help keep interrupting thoughts at bay and will aid deeper relaxation.

 

 

Destination Yoga has been running truly unique yoga retreats of the highest quality for over 10 years and has an array of fantastic trips on offer, pairing some of the best yoga teachers in Europe with simply stunning destinations – The perfect restorative getaway for individuals or groups of yogis of all abilities.

We also offer tailor-made holidays from our selection of beautiful hotels that we’ve handpicked for offering high-quality yoga programmes, led by their own resident yoga teachers.

Check out some of our reviews from guests and press.

 

Atol Protected

destination yoga is owned and operated by The Healthy Holiday Company Ltd.  All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it.

 

All non flight bookings are insured with Affirma financial protection insurance. Therefore you can be sure that there is no financial risk to your payment for your destination yoga holiday in accordance with our consumer protection obligations.

Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate, see ATOL Certificate