B – Breathe. #AtoZChallenge

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge


How often we keep hearing these two words! I know I have heard it for so long now. But, do we really concentrate on our breathing? Do we really BREATHE the way we are supposed to?

When in moments of despair or anger, we forget we have a pair of lungs that can help us get through it all if we follow their advice, but rarely do we do that. The kind of effect this has on our health is something we realise only later, often when it’s too late.

Breathing not only supplies your body with oxygen, but also helps cool you down, clear your mind and helps you focus on the here and the now.

So, how DO we breathe? How do we remember to breathe?

Simple! Get into the practice of deep breathing everyday, even if for five minutes.



  1. Sit cross-legged on the floor, or in your bed before bedtime. Place your hands in your lap, or on your knees.

  2. Close your eyes and calm your mind.

  3. There will be thoughts demanding your attention, but let them be. Don’t drive them away.

  4. Instead, divert your attention to your breath, to your nostrils or your stomach as it inflates and deflates as you inhale and exhale.

  5. If you wish to, count your breaths.

  6. Go slow. Just breathe naturally–focus on just inhaling and exhaling, focus on your chest expanding as you breathe in, and deflating as you breathe out.

  7. Count 20 breaths and then open your eyes if you can’t go any further.

  8. If you do feel good enough, continue for as long as you feel like.

Doing this exercise every day will help you learn to concentrate on how you breathe and how good it feels to do so. It’s also a tiny workout to get our monkey mind under control.

If you have trouble sleeping, then, continue with the above exercise after you lie down. And, before you realize it, you will have fallen asleep! I do it on nights I can’t fall asleep and it works like a charm. Of course, it needs to be worked upon. But, it does work.



PRANAYAM, or controlled breathing, relaxes your mind and reduces stress and anxiety.

Sharing with you all, this detailed article on Pranayam and the different types of Pranayam and the ways of doing these.


Although, the best way to learn it is by enrolling in a Yoga class. You will learn not onlyΒ Pranayam,Β but also exercises that will help you breathe better and improve your overall health.


Wish you the best!

Much love,




I am participating in the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, and my theme this year is, ‘SELF-CARE’.

You will find all the posts here

Published by shilpagupte

Do you know the secret to living a happy life? Eat. Pray. Love. Or, watch what you eat, wish well for all and fill your heart with love! That's precisely what I try to do through my blogs: 'Metanoia', the wellness blogazine, and 'Fictionista', my blog for fiction and non-fiction. Welcome to my virtual homes!

29 thoughts on “B – Breathe. #AtoZChallenge

  1. You know, Shilpa, I think I became conscious of the power of breathing when I started doing Yoga. Initially, I would hold my breath when doing a few asanas. But over time, I have perfected that. Now when I am stressed, I do deep breathing or meditative breathing just like you’ve cleared. It has the power to calm the nerves. Really all of us must meditate daily. Enjoyed the post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I too learned the importance of breathing right when I did the Yoga course. My teacher still reminds me to concentrate on my breathing, especially since my anxiety levels went up last year.
      Thanks, dear, for sharing your story!


  2. Very nicely put together. Infact i i liked your theme – loving oneself and self care is so important. We tend to ignore it, looking for gratification outside oneself.
    i also wanted to ask you – is there formal registration for this challenge? i am interested, know am late by a day. but wanted to try it

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I realised. I think registration is closed. Decided to try on my own. will make me write more. So just put the first post. let’s see if I can continue

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pranayam and anulom-vilom has helped calm me down to a large extent. We underestimate breathing actually. Just by counting our breaths and focusing on our breathing we can avoid so many anger situations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true, Soumya. And, it’s this little thing about breathing slowly and counting our breaths that we forget to do when in stressful situations–the precise time we are supposed to do it. πŸ™‚


    1. Thank you Sonia!
      Yes, self care is what we lack most in our busy lives. Just paying a little attention to ourselves and our needs will definitely improve our overall health and wellbeing.
      Thanks for visiting! I hope you find my posts helpful. ❀


    1. It’s what I do to focus on the moment and distract my mind from conjuring all kinds of frightening thoughts and worsening my anxiety levels. πŸ™‚
      Thanks for dropping by, Chicky! I prefer ‘Kaddu’..it’s such a cute name! ❀


    1. Oh yes, it does affect our mind and body. I can tell when I am anxious and not breathing right….the heaviness in my chest and the restlessness leaves me feeling worse!


  4. You know, this is why whenever we get worked up, we’re advised to take deep breaths. Making it a habit through meditative breathing is a wonderful way to stay healthy. One thing I truly enjoy is breathwalking (wrote a post about it a while ago after I practiced it for some days). Now it is a habit and feels amazing. Love the selfcare series.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True, Vidya. I have noticed how I feel in my chest when I am angry or anxious and not paying attention to my breathing. I need to make it a life long habit and that’s why wrote this post–for myself! πŸ™‚


    1. It will help you, Shalini. You just need to get into the practice of doing it, slowly and steadily. I decided to give it a try at night as I quit my meds that helped me sleep. I didn’t want to depend upon the meds to sleep always! πŸ™‚


    1. Oh yes, it’s about time these exercises were introduced in schools. What with the stress of studies increasing by the day, the students and their teachers too need to learn the breathing techniques to cope with it all!
      Thanks for the visit, Namratha! πŸ™‚


  5. Something I’ve noticed, when I’m stressed or anxious, that I do almost unconsciously to center myself – breathe out sloooooowly as if blowing out a candle. (Looks stupid, but seems to work.) You don’t HAVE to wait until you’re able to sit cross-legged on the floor; sometimes, you need to practice breathing on a crowded subway or in heavy traffic or in a tense meeting at work. BUT – do not let breathing exercises turn into hyperventilation, especially behind the wheel. (I did that, once – had a full blown panic attack trying NOT to start smoking again after the woman at the DMV lied to me and wasted HOURS of my time trying to renew my driver’s license and change it to my married name, 30+ years ago. I tried the deep breathing exercises, but did it too quickly and almost passed out while driving. Not cool. πŸ™‚ )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course, you don’t need to wait till you find a place to sit and practice breathing! But it’s just something that I learned to do before beginning my yoga session.
      All we need to do is breathe, consciously breathe so that we focus on our breathing and on the moment rather than on our stressors.
      And, so that our breathing exercises don’t turn into hyperventilation, it’s advised to learn the breathing techniques from a Yoga teacher.

      Do take care while doing your breathing exercises, Holly. πŸ™‚
      And, thank you for sharing your experiences. ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. After doing the Vipassana Meditation course, I realized the importance of breathing. It is amazing how a simple breathing exercise does wonders to your mental and physical well being. I practice breathing especially when I have trouble sleeping and when I have headaches, though I need to make it way of life.
    Shilpa Garg #AtoZChallenge


    1. It’s what we often forget to do when we need to remember to do it consciously! When angry, or anxious, we completely forget to focus on our breathing and end up feeling further disturbed. I, too, need to work on making it a way of life and hence this post! πŸ™‚


  7. I too can’t emphasize the importance of breathing and deep breathing. I have been doing it when the mind weighs heavy. I do it lying in the bed when I am not able to sleep. It helps me quieten the mind and drifting into the sleeping state becomes easier.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m excited about your theme! Breathing is all we talk about now in our home. My husband just came home from the hospital on Hospice. He requires high amounts of supplemental oxygen. When he feels like he isn’t getting enough, panic sets in and his breathing gets erratic. That’s when I remind him to take slow, deep breaths, hold, and then exhale slowly. This does a remarkable job of calming down. SOon his O2 sats return to the correct level.
    B is for: Adopt a Beginner’s Mindset

    Liked by 1 person

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