Breathing exercises to calm the nervous system: 10 effective exercises

Currently, a large number of people complain of sleep disturbances, poor memory and bad mood. Doctors explain this by constant stress, chronic fatigue syndrome and asthenia. To get rid of illnesses, people take sleeping pills and stimulants, start drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and smoking a lot. However, few people know that if you practice breathing exercises, the nervous system will calm down, stress will subside, and memory and sleep will improve.

What is breathing like for relaxation?

We breathe completely unconsciously. If desired, a person has the opportunity to control this process. Calming breathing is used in psychotherapy to relieve tension and allow you to calm down in the shortest possible time. In addition, it has a significant healing effect.

Learning to breathe correctly to calm down is not difficult. It is important to understand the technique of training. During normal breathing, our pulse is in a stable state. When a person experiences stress or physical activity, the pulse begins to quicken, blood pressure rises and the person may feel slightly dizzy.

Breathing for relaxation is aimed at calming the nervous system, especially the parasympathetic one. It turns on when working with the stomach, without using the shoulder girdle. In order for such gymnastics to help you calm down, you must:

  • conduct the lesson in a ventilated room;
  • do not exercise when sick or at high temperatures;
  • concentrate only on breathing;
  • the load increases gradually;
  • keep your posture straight.

Following simple rules, gymnastics will only bring benefits. During the exercise you should not be distracted by strangers, so it is best to do it alone or in pairs with a person who is doing the same.

One of the most popular and easiest activities. You need to count to four, take a deep breath and hold your breath for 2 counts. Then exhale, again counting to four. This system is called 4 - 2 - 4. The implementation is quite simple and allows you to quickly tune in to the desired wave and relieve light tension.

There are several types of breathing exercises:

  • top;
  • average;
  • lower.

Lower breathing is carried out with the stomach, using the diaphragm. This is what helps best deal with stress. You can perform exercises using lower breathing daily or as needed.

Medium breathing is carried out using the entire abdomen, that is, the abdominal muscles and the middle sections of the lungs are connected.

With upper or chest breathing, you can relax and come to your senses as quickly as possible. Very effective during unforeseen stressful circumstances.

SmartYoga: yoga for health and yoga therapy in Moscow

Dear friends and like-minded people, enthusiasts of your own health, physical and mental! We invite you to yoga groups on Sokol and Oktyabrsky Pole. Classes are held on Alabyan Street, within walking distance from the metro, in the Flex studio on Maly Peschany Lane, building 2. Yoga on Sokol includes morning, evening and Sunday groups. Classes are conducted in the following areas: healing the spine and peripheral joints, posture correction, weight loss, women's health, yoga for pregnant women, relief from depression and anti-stress .

Yoga on Sokol and Oktyabrsky Pole is a therapeutic yoga that combines asanas, vyayamas and vinyasas with physical therapy exercises and healthy breathing techniques, as well as other yoga therapy tools.

During the coronavirus pandemic, we began conducting online classes on the Zoom platform. So now the best practices of yoga therapy in Moscow are available from anywhere in the world! Join us on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 20:00, and on Sundays from 17:00! The cost of an online lesson is 500 rubles. Email me at [email protected] and I will send you a link to enter.

Online classes of health yoga groups SmartYoga in Zoom

Yoga at Oktyabrsky Pole and Sokol combines the developments of modern medicine with non-drug methods of healing. We use kinesiotherapy - movement therapy - to the maximum. By competently engaging in physical education, we can improve a lot in our body and psyche, often much more effectively than with the help of medications.

In the yoga groups on Sokol and Oktyabrsky Pole, we conduct detailed surveys of students about their health status in order to correctly determine the mode of exercise: some show dynamics, others show statics, and others show stato-dynamics. Even breathing techniques are not shown to everyone, so in the yoga groups at Sokol we also differentiate them.

The teacher and organizer of SmartYoga groups is Liya Volova , a certified yoga therapist and exercise therapy methodologist, instructor in hatha and perinatal yoga. And here are reviews about classes in yoga groups on Sokol and Oktyabrsky Pole on the website, here are reviews about classes in SmartYoga groups and other events on the website

The health-improving discoveries of Indian yogis, accumulated over several millennia, become even more effective if adapted to the Western physiological type of person, if corrected by modern medical ideas about our physiology, internal biochemistry, and the mutual dependence of physical and emotional states. In the yoga groups at Sokol and Oktyabrsky Pole, we do not follow the dogmas of one or another style or direction of yoga. We take everything useful from everywhere and customize this mix to suit the needs of each individual organism. It is under this motto that the Moscow school of yoga therapy is developing at the Institute of Traditional Health Systems (rector - Dr. S.N. Agapkin), which I and my colleagues represent in the yoga groups at Sokol.

Yoga on October Field and Sokol will help you solve many problems in the musculoskeletal system, improve posture, get rid of some chronic diseases, optimize the state of the central and autonomic nervous systems, restore the balance of sympathetic and parasympathetic tone, relieve stress and its consequences.

The main wellness areas in yoga groups at Sokol and Oktyabrsky Pole: back pain and other joint diseases, posture correction, menopausal syndrome, increased anxiety and depressive conditions, weight loss, women's practices, yoga for pregnant women.

For people who work under stressful conditions and regularly experience stress, and also feel the need to get rid of increased anxiety, insomnia, panic attacks and depression, a special yoga group has been created on Sokol - “Attitress Formula” .

Schedule of morning yoga groups at Sokol and Oktyabrsky Pole : on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9.30 and 11.30.

Schedule of evening yoga groups at Oktyabrsky Pole and Sokol: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 21.00.

Weekend yoga group schedule at Sokol and Oktyabrskoye Pole: Sundays at 7:30 p.m.

Cost of classes in yoga groups on Oktyabrsky Pole and Sokol. One-time lesson - 800 rub. There is a subscription system.

The group “Yoga for the face on Sokol” practices on Mondays at 21.00. Read more about this direction here .

More about me and my approach. Sign up, indicating the direction of health improvement that interests you, at [email protected] or by phone..

How to get there from the metro?

Long road from Sokol metro stationShort road from Sokol metro station

In accordance with the SmartYoga concept, an office yoga group also practices in the Krylatsky Hills business park, as well as in the Sunny Elephant linguistic school on the street. Mosfilmovskaya 8.

Some of the reviews about classes in our yoga groups on Sokol and Oktyabrsky Pole SmartYoga , published by participants independently on the portal :

Anastasia Vorobyova (March 2019):

“I came to Leah during pregnancy and realized that I would stay with this super-professional for postpartum recovery and beyond. It is important to me that Leah provides a theoretical basis on how this or that exercise affects the body and more. Leah skillfully combines exercises in such a format that different muscle groups have time to both work and relax. I leave class every time with a feeling of real satisfaction.”

Irina Buchneva (February 2019):

“I’m 50 years old, I came to yoga classes at Sokol 2 years ago on the advice of a good friend. At the age of 48, health problems began, the general condition was poor - drowsiness, fatigue, apathy, pain in the legs, back, frequent colds, which were protracted and lasted a long time.

At first, it was very difficult in classes, since for the last 8 years there was a minimum of movement, sedentary work. But after 5 classes I got hooked.

Now, after two years, I regret one thing - that I took two long breaks from my classes in yoga groups on Oktyabrsky Field - one for six months, the second for three months (that’s how it happened). I tried to study at home, but it can’t be compared with group classes. Group is Power!

I am very grateful to Leah - my teacher, my Guru (I’m not afraid of this word), that I became a different person! In 2 years, I only got sick with colds twice, the second time in just one day (even though all of Moscow gets sick from October to May), this is a huge breakthrough for me! This indicates good immunity, and therefore rapid recovery. Another plus is that I avoided falling on the ice several times, as I learned to maintain balance. Many have noticed that my back has become straighter, I constantly want to straighten up, although I have been slouching since my youth, and with age my stooping has developed into kyphosis.

Now I try not to miss classes, as this is my health, my boost of energy, my lifestyle, my healthy habit. I don't want to get sick like I used to, and I can prevent possible illnesses.

But none of this would have happened without Leah! Thank you very much to her for her professionalism, for her individual approach to each student, for her love for her work. Every lesson for me is like a small holiday, a celebration of soul and body! And we, at yoga on Sokol, do not have the same classes)), they are always different!”

Natalya Zhmyleva (January 2019):

“Leah is my fourth yoga teacher. So there is something to compare with. The classes are organized very correctly, 5-10 minutes of self-diagnosis and breathing, 1 hour of good physical activity, both for beginners and advanced users by adjusting the complexity of the same exercises (asanas), and, of course, 10 minutes of rest in Shavasana. I have been going to classes for more than 1.5 years. I still like it. I recommend our yoga on October Field to everyone: both men and women.”

Natalya Finogeeva (January 2019):

“Among the huge number of yoga classes offered, it is very difficult to make a choice, and, of course, I went through a long journey of trial and error until I finally found “my” trainer. Leah is a specialist who approaches everyone individually, and this is during group training in the gym. Lia’s classes are not soulless technical performances of asanas, but some very finely balanced approach, so that you want to practice, not be a philanderer, and you understand, what processes occur in the body, you understand how this or that movement or breathing affects my Health, you can really feel how the hormone of youth is being produced :-) At the same time, Leah very carefully makes sure that this or that exercise does not cause harm, since everyone there are a lot of health nuances. And it’s amazing how Leah knows and remembers everything about everyone! I highly recommend yoga classes at Sokol!”

Maria Rychkova (January 2019):

“I’ve been studying with Leah for 1.5 years. I am very glad that I met such a professional trainer. Individual approach to each student in each lesson. Comments and useful information when performing exercises. Knowledge of anatomy and physiology and, as a result, balanced practice. A friendly atmosphere and excellent well-being are guaranteed.”

Some of the reviews about classes in our yoga groups on Oktyabrsky Pole and Sokol SmartYoga , published by participants independently on the portal :

Svetlana, June 2021:

“Very professional approach. I study in a yoga group on Sokol of 6-8 people, but it feels like an individual lesson - attention to everyone and to the point. I highly recommend it to anyone who cares about honest and high-quality treatment of their body.”

Yulia Merkulova (June 2018):

“I have been attending classes in yoga groups on Sokol since February and every time I go there with great joy. Our trainer Leah is a beautiful, charming woman and a true professional in her field.

I would like to note the individual approach we have at our group yoga classes at Oktyabrsky Pole. At the beginning of a lesson, Leah always asks about your mood and well-being and takes this into account when selecting exercises. Leah always takes into account the individual characteristics of the body and the health status of each group member.

I highly recommend classes for those who want to improve the quality of their life: increase their tone, get a boost of vigor and good mood, strengthen the body and boost immunity.”

Sasha (May 2018):

“I’ve been attending Leah’s classes in yoga groups on Sokol recently, for about two months, but I’m already feeling positive dynamics - muscles, joints, spine, emotions, everything is gradually returning to normal, which my family also notices. And this is without other aids for some health problems! Leah is a wonderful specialist, Professional! Charges with harmony! Leah, thank you so much!”

Philip Khrul (May 2018):

“For the last few years I have been in relative goodness, both physical and spiritual. And for this I am sincerely grateful to my companion Leah, who correctly suggests the direction and shares her invaluable gift, strength and experience.

Let me briefly say that before I met this Man, my condition left much to be desired: osteophytes, disc protrusions, impaired cerebromotor function, etc. I visited various doctors from medicine and various healers from the alternative side of it (chiropractors, chiropractors, kinesiologists, etc.).

Yes, “you can’t buy health,” but you can create a favorable environment for it. And from my personal experience I will say that with such a Master as Leah and a small effort of your own Will, a new world and a fundamentally different quality of being can open up for you. With thanks. Namaste."

Tatyana (May 2018):

“I’ve been looking for yoga classes for a long time, I tried a lot, but it didn’t work... I ended up joining Leah’s yoga group on Sokol by accident and realized that I had found it! Incredible, sensitive, thoughtful, professional, Leah captivated me from the first lesson!

A wonderful mood, excellent health, endurance, strength and flexibility, as well as inner confidence and peace of mind - this is what I leave with after classes with Leah. I recommend it to everyone from the bottom of my heart. Thankful for the acquaintance and the opportunity to study.”

Yana Zakharchenko (May 2018):

“I came to Lia’s yoga group on Oktyabrsky Pole on a recommendation. After 2 births, it was as if my body was no longer mine and there was clearly a hint of stress. The main request was to learn to slow down, start feeling your body again, and especially pay attention to your abs and back. I started with individual classes because I was not at all familiar with yoga. Leah, having assessed my physical and mental state, chose the best exercises for me, introduced me to breathing practices and meditation (special thanks for this knowledge!). Before my eyes, I began to straighten up - my back straightened (with a height of 155 cm, I became 157), the tension in my body went away or relaxed, my neck stopped wedging, my abs and legs became stronger.

After individual lessons, I continue to work in the yoga group on Sokol. But the most wonderful thing that happened to me was my mood, I came to life, everything makes me happy, and especially my body, it quickly responded to all the classes and the result is visible. Thank you, Leah, for your sensitivity, gentleness, breadth of knowledge and professionalism. I appreciate you".

Yulia Tsareva:

“I am very pleased and happy that I got into this yoga group on Sokol. Leah is a highly professional, with a sensitive individual approach to each individual. Taking into account his physical characteristics, his attitude towards practice and his current mood :) I have been looking for a leader with such an approach for a long time, I am glad that I finally found myself in the right place, with the right person! I highly recommend it to everyone!!! Leah, thank you for having us :)))"

Natalya (May 2018):

“The coach is a true professional. Very good atmosphere. Lots of exercises for good physical shape, for the prevention of various diseases. This is the third and certainly the best yoga trainer in my life. Leah, thank you for your wonderful health and mood!”

Rules for performing exercises to calm the nerves

Correctly performing relaxing gymnastics allows you to calm down in a short time. Such exercises are aimed primarily at normalizing the heart rate.

During gymnastics, you need to be careful not to make sudden movements. If breathing exercises are performed regularly and not for the first time, then you can begin to gradually increase the intervals between inhalations and exhalations. For beginners, it is better to stick to simple rules and not harm yourself with excessive delay.

You need to take breaths slowly and deeply, only if the technique does not require the opposite. The direction of air into the lungs or into the diaphragm is adjusted depending on the desired result. Belly breathing is done in yoga practice. This technique allows you to maintain balance and harmony with yourself.

At the same time, the technique allows you not only to calm down, but also in general has a complex positive effect on the entire human body. Special breathing normalizes metabolism, improves blood circulation and allows a person to feel calmer all the time, and not just during exercise.

The execution rules are simple:

  • keep your back straight;
  • visualize while breathing;
  • exercise full control of your breathing;
  • relax;
  • take a comfortable position;
  • do not be distracted by extraneous matters;
  • perform each exercise several approaches;
  • When exhaling, imagine that the negative is leaving the body.

The very first exercise is usually a warm-up. It should be simple so that the lungs are prepared.

The benefits and harms of a nervous condition

Excitement, which is caused by external factors, is designed to increase the overall tone of the body in order to solve the problem. For example, a person becomes extremely agitated when attacked by a person or animal. The pressure rises sharply, the pulse quickens, accelerated blood circulation helps the human muscles act, with quick and strong movements you can correct the situation and protect yourself from unfavorable circumstances.

The nervous and cardiovascular systems are designed in such a way that they can withstand short-term stressful conditions of almost any strength. In case of danger, a person, with the help of a sharp increase in vital signs, can concentrate and quickly solve the problem that has arisen.

But the human body is not designed for long-term stress. Human nature has always inclined people to make quick decisions that help them arrange their environment and continue to live without stress. In ancient times, people quickly began military operations or hid from danger by changing their place of residence. In addition, ancient man divided his life into cycles - he worked hard twice a year, planting and harvesting crops, and in the summer people filled their leisure time with various holidays, not allowing stress to accumulate. Some peoples, for example those of the far north, must hunt for about two weeks to feed themselves throughout the year, if you add up all the hunting days in a year.

But the current situation has changed dramatically. We live in a densely populated society where interpersonal relationships and material wealth come first, for which we must work hard to achieve. The majority of the world's population experiences constant stress associated with constant troubles. In order not to find ourselves outside of society, this very society requires us to constantly be on our toes. In addition to the need to serve society, we are overcome by personal troubles - misunderstandings in the family, in the work team. Sometimes a situation arises when we cannot get out of the nervous circle - there are problems everywhere, there is no way out in sight.

Constant nervous conditions lead to a weakening of the body, blood vessels lose their elasticity due to increased pressure, the heart can suddenly pump too much blood and there is a real threat of stroke and heart attack - diseases whose consequences make themselves felt throughout the rest of life. Also, all internal organs of a person suffer from stress, and immunity decreases. A person can get many chronic diseases if he cannot arrange a life for himself without hassle.

Breathing exercises for sleep

Many people have a problem such as insomnia. The inability to fall asleep interferes with normal life, since a person does not get enough sleep and feels tired. There is a special lesson to calm the nervous system and fall asleep quickly.

Before going to bed, wear warm and comfortable clothes and lie on the bed in a ventilated room. Take a deep breath into your belly. Hold the air in your lungs for 4 - 7 seconds. In this case, inhalation is carried out through the nose. Next, you should exhale through your mouth, so strongly but slowly that there is a feeling of emptiness and vacuum in the lungs. Repeat several times.

Calming breathing can be used both immediately before bedtime and some time before bedtime. If you make gymnastics for calm and relaxation an evening ritual, then insomnia will leave a person sooner.

Breathing exercises not only help you fall asleep faster, but also help you sleep more deeply. They are good for calming the nervous system. Another trick for deeper sleep. Lie down on the bed and close your eyes. Imagine how solar energy is inhaled along with the air, passes through the entire spine and leaves the body along with the negative, through the feet. You need to inhale slowly through your nose. In this case, it is advisable to keep your shoulders motionless and breathe through your stomach.

The so-called diaphragmatic breathing to calm the nerves will help you relax, relieve stress after a hard day at work and fall asleep faster.

Sama vritti or even breathing

Pranayama is a special breathing exercise that is performed as an independent element to calm and heal the body.

All pranayamas are divided into subtypes, depending on the type of breathing carried out during their execution.

  • Sama-vritti.
  • Vishama-vritti.

Their techniques differ in the ratio of inhalations and exhalations. Sama-vritti implies equal proportions of breathing. And vishama - vritti - in the ratio of one to four to two.

Vritti itself is suitable for beginners. Its execution is easy and does not require special training. Vritti itself calms the nervous system and is considered a meditation technique, as it is often used by yogis during meditation.

It is advisable to do it before bed, as it will allow you to relax and calm down. An elementary example would be: inhale for four counts. Then exhale for four counts.

You can gradually increase the number of accounts to 12 or more. But at first it is advisable to breathe in no more than 4 counts.

As you practice, your lung volume will begin to increase and your breaths will become easier and longer. With vritti itself there should be exactly an equal proportion and number of counts, because if the proportion changes, then the technique will be completely different and the effect may be the opposite, not calming, but toning.

Abdominal breathing technique

A calming breathing technique called abdominal breathing is done from the stomach. At the same time, the abdominal muscles are completely relaxed, attention is concentrated. If you relax your abdominal muscles, the inhalation will be deeper; if you make them tense, the inhalation will be less intense.

To control the abdominal area, you can place your hands on the part below the navel. The ability to relax and tense these muscles is very important especially for pregnant women. However, this can only be done after consulting with your doctor.

Breathing should be even and smooth, the abs relaxed. The time of inhalation and exhalation can be increased over time as the body gets used to it. Such exercises can be performed regularly to calm the nervous system. They also have a strengthening effect on the entire body by saturating the blood with more oxygen.

Pigeon pose

This exercise will stretch your hip joints and reduce back tension after a day of work.


Sit on your knees, stretch one leg back and bend the other at a 90-degree angle in front of you. Your arms can be placed at your sides or raised above your head. Try to keep your back straight and gradually lengthen it. Breathe deeply, complete 5-10 breathing cycles.

Nadi shodhana or alternative nostril breathing

Nadi Shodhana is a special system that cleanses not only energy but also respiratory channels. It rejuvenates the body, gives calm, balances a person and allows him to calm down faster if necessary.

The system involves balancing breathing through both nostrils. Alternative breathing should be carried out evenly so that both hemispheres work equally. If a person watches his nostrils as he inhales, he will notice that one of them breathes more easily than the other. In this case, one hemisphere works better than the other. Balanced breathing is aimed specifically at harmonizing the two hemispheres. Thanks to this, you can calm the nervous system and improve the health of the body.

Progressive relaxation

Relaxing breathing is used not only as an independent element of calming gymnastics. There is something called progressive relaxation. It involves the gradual relaxation of all muscles, even those that are not involved in breathing. It is performed as follows: the hand is clenched into a fist, gradually unclenched until complete relaxation. Then the other hand. Next, attention turns to the legs. When all the muscles are relaxed, the person will feel great relief.

Ultimately, regular exercise will provide peace and tranquility for a long period of time. This can be done on an ongoing basis, daily, or as needed.

How does physical therapy help with neurological diseases?

Almost any neurological disease causes breathing problems - either shortness of breath, hyperventilation, or lack of oxygen. In these cases, it is not always justified to immediately resort to drug therapy. A lot can be changed with the right attitude of the person himself.

Guided Visualization

This method is based on relaxation and calming the nervous system. The technology is quite new and is currently widely used in psychiatry. The technique is being introduced to treat both psychological problems and emotional disorders.

Visualization is very powerful when combined with some breathing techniques. For example, for psychological correction, psychiatrists use this method quite widely, and its results are confirmed by scientific research.

You can visualize your desires and goals. For personal growth, this method allows you to expand your capabilities and boundaries.

It has an impact not only on calming the nervous system, but also on the overall development and harmony of the individual.

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