This Breathing Exercise Will Change Your Life

Hellllooooooooooo! It’s been a hot minute, but I’m excited to share this breathing technique with you. It’s super simple, takes very little time and will be the best way for you to relax and de-stress on a moment’s notice. I give complete credit Dr. Andrew Weil who shared it in class last week, encouraging us that this practice has the ability to dramatically decrease the likelihood of anxiety attacks, digestive disorders and regular bouts of stress.

 For the past few weeks I’ve practiced this technique in the morning, evening and any other time I begin to feel confined or restricted by stress. Y’all I figure if this is something helpful for me, then it’s gotta be a help for someone else out there. My mind is constantly considering all options, all possibilities, things that could go right, things that could go wrong. While that makes me great for some aspects of life, I definitely have room for a relaxation practice in my routine.

The function of this exercise is to heighten the quality of the breath, as well as RELAX and CALM the nervous system. I encourage you to record how you feel before and after the exercise and then throughout your day. The most noticeable effects are those of the long-term practice -- increased mental focus and clear-headedness.

Find a comfortable seated position and allow yourself to sit up with a straight back without tightening or overdoing it -- ease and comfort are crucial.

The Relaxation/Breathing Exercise:

(a la Dr. Andrew Weil)

  1. Start with the tip of your tongue relaxed gently behind your top front teeth in the ridge between your gums and teeth.

  2. Exhale all the air out of your lungs.

  3. Silently inhale through your nose for a count of four.

  4. Hold your breath for seven counts.

  5. Exhale through your mouth (air will go around the tongue) with an audible whooshing sound for a count of eight. Make sure you exhale all the air out.

  6. This is one cycle. Begin again with the inhale and repeat the cycle four times.

The ratio of the breath count does matter, so stay true to the seconds. If you feel lightheaded at all, don’t worry. That’s completely normal and will pass.

Andrew recommends doing this at least twice a day.  

The exercise acts as a natural tranquilizer, calming the nervous system and unfogging the mind. Let me know how it goes for you. :)

Do you have any relaxation exercises that work for you?