We like to think of our whole flower teas as more than just an enjoyable drink because the brewing of the teas themselves can also be turned into a relaxing ritual. Unlike loose leaf teas, which are usually brewed in bags, each of our flowers needs to be held under hot water with our bamboo tongs, or a similar tool, for three minutes before it blooms.
As our dried flowers transform into their true forms, you can transform these three minutes into a calming moment. While your tea brews you can listen to your favorite song, visualize the incredible day you’re going to have, or do a little meditation. But one of our favorite ways to relax while our tea brews is to do a breathing exercise.
Breathing exercises are one of the best ways to reduce stress and its symptoms. This is because as you breathe deeply, your brain sends a message to your body to calm down. As your body calms down, your heart rate slows, your mind settles, and your blood pressure may even reduce. (1)
So today we want to share a few 3-minute breathing exercises to help you calm down while your tea brews.
1. Box Breathing
Box breathing is a favorite among yogis and U.S. Navy Seals alike. This simple breathing technique gets its name from the fact that you breathe in, hold your breath, breathe out, and hold your breath again for the same amount of time, creating a sort of “box.” Most people choose to do each step for four or five seconds each. If you want to try box breathing out for yourself all you have to do is this:
- Breathe in for five seconds.
- Hold your breath for five seconds.
- Breathe out for five seconds.
- Hold your breath for five seconds.
Doing this exercise nine times will take exactly three minutes. If you do this, you'll start to feel relaxed even before you drink your tea.
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2. Alternate nostril breathing
In Sanskrit, alternate nostril breathing is known as “Nadi Shodhan Pranayama,” or “subtle energy clearing breathing.” This is because alternate nostril breathing helps clear negative energy, reduce anxiety, and prepare you for further relaxation.
To give alternate nostril breathing a try just complete the following:
- First, sit in a comfortable position or stay standing with your shoulders relaxed. Release any tension in your jaw and forehead.
- Then, place the tip of your index finger and middle finger of your right hand on your forehead in between the eyebrows. You will use your ring finger to close the left nostril and your thumb to close the right nostril.
- Next, breathe in through your left nostril while using your thumb to close your right nostril. Then use your ring finger to close the left nostril and release the thumb on the right nostril. Finally, breathe out through the right nostril. Then breathe in through the right nostril before closing it with your thumb. Finally, release the ring finger from the left side and exhale through the left nostril.
- Once you’re done, you’ve completed one round of alternate nostril breathing.
One round should take about 25 seconds, which means you should be able to do about seven rounds before your three minutes is up. This breathing exercise goes great with our Royal Chrysanthemum tea because just like this tea, alternating nostril breathing is great for your immune system. This is because breathing is directly connected to lymph flow and good lymph flow is linked to increased immunity. (2)
3. 4-7-8 breathing
This breathing exercise is perfect for anyone looking to relax before they go to bed and it pairs really well with our Blue Lotus tea. This tea has been used for deep relaxation since the ancient Egyptians discovered its power thousands of years ago. The 4-7-8 breathing technique can give your organs and tissues a much-needed oxygen boost when you hold your breath. It has even been described by its inventor as a “natural tranquilizer for the nervous system” (3).
To do the 4-7-8 breathing simply:
- Breathe in for 4 seconds.
- Hold your breath for 7 seconds.
- Breathe out for 8 seconds.
Like the box breathing, you can do about nine of these over the course of three minutes.
We hope you enjoy these breathing exercises!