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Article as shared by The Huffington Post | Alena Hall | 11.02.2015

There’s no question that many of us would like to improve the quality of our sleepeach night. Tossing, turning, waking up frequently, struggling to fall back asleep — and that’s if we can even drift off in the first place.

We are notorious for allowing bright screens into the bedroom and daily doses of anxiety to hit the pillow alongside our heads — seemingly subconscious habits that leave us annoyingly alert rather than calm and relaxed. One of the best ways to bring the body into its relaxed state is one we shouldn’t have to think about: breathing. You read that right. Proper inhales and exhales have become a lost art among today’s fast-paced, highly stressed society, robbing us of one of the best (not to mention free) tools for logging quality shut-eye. Taking the time to address your breathing could be just what you need to shut down your stress and solve your sleep problems, killing the proverbial two birds with one soothing stone.

Struggling to drift off to dreamland each night? Give these six breathing tricks a try at bedtime.

Take it slow.

We know, we know, you already tried that! But not so fast — many of us don’t actually know what if feels like to recruit the diaphragm, abdominals and lungs to take in a full breath, hold onto it for a moment and then gradually let it go. Focusing your mind and body on taking these slow, deep breaths helps reduce heart rate and blood pressure simultaneously, further calming down your entire system. A 2010 study even found that this slower breathing style allows the parasympathetic system (which is responsible for your ability to relax) to override your sympathetic system (which controls your automatic stress response). With slow breathing, you’ll feel the rib cage expand to let the lungs fill completely, and then fall back into its natural position as you exhale. Lie down in bed on your back and try breathing slowly for 10 minutes before nodding off.

Try the 4-7-8 technique.

According to Dr. Andrew Weil, a renowned physician, holistic health author and founder of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, the relaxation breathing exercise known as the 4-7-8 breath can work wonders before bedtime (as well as any other time you’re feeling stressed). To relieve your anxious mind, sit up in bed with your back straight, and press the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth right behind your front teeth. Maintaining that position, close your mouth and inhale through your nose for four counts, hold that breath for seven counts, and then exhale through your mouth around your tongue for eight counts. Repeat this pattern until you have completed four full breaths.

Use a traditional meditative breath.

If you find that a busy, anxious mind is your primary sleep destroyer, it may be time to finally give meditation a try. Through her research, neuroscientist and meditation expert Catherine Kerr has found that focusing on the breath is the very first component required in a mindfulness meditation practice. Connecting with the rise and fall of the breath, and noticing where you feel that breath move within the body, can help you begin the process of relaxing tense muscles. This physical change also helps you let any negative or stressful thoughts and emotions come and go as you remain tied to the breath and your body. Complete this breathing exercise for eight to 10 minutes to reap the full benefits each night.

Channel your yoga skills.

Kapalbhati breathing (also known as Blowing in Firm pose) requires focusing 100 percent of one’s energy on the breath. In Sanskrit, kapal means forehead and bhatimeans shining, making this movement known for its mind-cleansing benefits. It may also help rid the lungs of carbon dioxide and fill them with fresh oxygen, keep the digestive system healthy, improve circulation in the abdominal area and keep the heart healthy. Try it out by sitting in a kneeling position with your back straight and hands resting on your knees. Take a breath in through your nose and exhale powerfully through your mouth by contracting your abdominal muscles in short, measured bursts.

Alternate nostrils.

Another great anxiety-relieving breathing technique based in the practice of yoga is called nadi shodhana, one of the most common forms of pranayama, or breath control. By alternating between each nostril for the inhale and exhale components of the breath, the body and mind are said to achieve a sense of balance and neutrality. While mouth breathing subconsciously tells the brain that the body is stressed,breathing through the nose sends signals of relaxation and homeostasis. Whenperforming this breathing exercise at night before bed, start with the right nostril. Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight, and close off the left nostril with the right ring finger to inhale. Then close off the right nostril with the right thumb to exhale. Keep your eyes closed throughout the exercise.

Double down on the exhale.

One more for the yogis out there! Many pranayamic breathing techniques rely on an exhale that is double the length of the previous inhale to inspire calming and restorative benefits. A 2006 study found that this form of voluntary, slow breathing has the ability to help reset the body’s autonomic nervous system by synchronizing neural elements in the heart, lungs and brain. And practitioners have found that by focusing on the count associated with the breath, the technique keeps us from thinking stressful thoughts and becomes a more effective substitute for counting sheep. To test it out, lie down in bed on your back, inhale for three seconds, exhale for six seconds and repeat until you’ve fallen asleep.


How To Become A Superhero In One Step!

Just like our favorite Superhero, we all secretly wish to become a like him; fight with the evil, put an end to the demons and protect the world from any destruction, yet no one has struck us with gamma rays neither we own Stark industries!

But Still You Can Become a Superhero too! Wondering “ How? ”, Switch To Sustainable Fashion! This is what will happen by your one heroic step: 

You Will Save The Lives Of 10,000 Farmers In India!

Well farmers in India are in a huge pressure of repaying their loans, which seems to be an impossible task for them if they continue with Conventional cultivating methods, which are expensive. If you switch to organic there life will become much easier. Read More here

You Will Save Over 70 Million Birds

Birds Die

A true superhero is one who becomes the voice of those who can’t be heard. There is nothing more comforting in the world than to serve the poor animals. Every year over 70 Million birds die due to pesticides. Don’t you want to become their Thor?

Little Turtles And Seals Need To Be Rescued

Aquatic ANimals

Oceans have become the new dumping grounds of the world. Almost all the oceans are filled with plastics. Seabirds, whales, sea turtles and other marine life are dying from choking, intestinal blockage and starvation. Recycling your plastic will save them. Switch to recycled clothing By Do U Speak Green and your PET Bottle will not end up in the Oceans. It’s time Now The Oceans Need You Batman!

You will be the guardian of Homes

Habitat loss affects over 2,000 mammal species around the world, and is considered the greatest threat to species across the globe, which is caused mostly due to agricultural expansion. Switch of Recycled clothing and you will not only reuse the plastics but also reduce the pressure of agriculture growth. 

You will be the protector of soil and water for generations to come

Switch to organic clothing and the future generations will thank you! You will be remembered for years. You will be the fighter of water scarcity and soil infertility!

The list is endless; helping the world and its precious little residents is nothing less than being a superhero. A true superhero takes actions, which benefits the whole world around him, Just switch to Eco-Fashion, and Join the Forces with Do U Speak Green Superhero, the Protectors of the Planet, On a mission to save the world.

super hero tees

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