The Coronavirus pandemic has sharply underscored the importance of exercise in our daily life. Even more so for those affected by COVID 19 as they grapple with direct and many times the severe impacts on their physical and mental health.

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Yoga and its breathing exercise are seen to play a significant role in post-COVID rehabilitation to help the respiratory system recover.

Even for those who have not suffered from COVID-19, breathing exercises help keep the lungs healthy. They also help in relieving stress and anxiety. Here are a few exercises/asanas that you can practice on a daily basis to remain fit, physically and mentally.

1. Alternate-Nostril Breathing (Nadi Sodhana)

• Position your right hand by bending your pointer and middle fingers into your palm, leaving your thumb, ring finger, and pinky extended.

• Close your eyes or softly gaze downward.

• Inhale and exhale to begin.

• Close off your right nostril with your thumb.

• Inhale through your left nostril.

• Close off your left nostril with your ring finger.

• Open and exhale through your right nostril.

• Inhale through your right nostril.

• Close off your right nostril with your thumb.

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2. Lion’s Breath (Simhasana)

• Spread your fingers as wide as possible.

• Inhale through your nose.

• Open your mouth wide, stick out your tongue, and stretch it down toward your chin.

• Exhale forcefully, carrying the breath across the root of your tongue.

• While exhaling, make a “ha” sound that comes from deep within your abdomen.

• Breathe normally for a few moments.

• Repeat lion’s breath up to seven times.

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3. 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise

Also known as the relaxing breath, it acts as a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system.

• Place and keep the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue behind your upper front teeth for the duration of the exercise.

• Completely exhale through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.

• Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.

• Hold your breath for a count of seven.

• Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.

4. Resonance Breathing Exercise

• Lie down and close your eyes.

• Gently breathe in through your nose, mouth closed, for a count of six seconds. Don’t fill your lungs too full of air.

• Exhale for six seconds, allowing your breath to leave your body slowly and gently without forcing it.

• Continue for up to 10 minutes.

• Take a few additional minutes to be still and focus on how your body feels.

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5. Box Breathing Exercise

Also known as four-square breathing, box breathing is very simple to learn and practice.

• Exhale to a count of four.

• Hold your lungs empty for a four count.

• Inhale to a count of four.

• Hold air in your lungs for a count of four.

• Exhale and begin the pattern anew.