4-7-8 Breathing (Great for Anxiety & Falling Asleep)
When you're stressed, your breathing can become very shallow which is breeding grounds for an excess of carbon dioxide in your tissues, which can ultimately lead to disease.
Breathing in for 4 allows you to consciously take in more oxygen. Holding for 7 allows that oxygen to saturate into your bloodstream, which begins to cleanse and energize your cells, tissues, and organs. Exhaling for 8 allows you to release as much carbon dioxide from your lungs as possible.
For this exercise, you always inhale quietly & exhale audibly through the mouth. Be sure that your exhales are twice as long as your inhales. The time spent is not important, but the ratio is. If you are having trouble holding your breath this long, that’s okay! Just keep the ratio of 4:7:8 for the duration of your practice.
1. Sitting upright, relax the shoulders, bring the eyes to a close or low gaze & exhale completely through your mouth.
2. Close the mouth as you inhale quietly through your nose for a mental count of 4.
3. Hold your breath for a count of 7.
4. Exhale completely through your mouth for a count of 8.
5. Repeat the cycle three more times for a total of 4 rounds.
The diaphragm is a large, dome-shaped muscle that sits at the base of the lungs. It is the most efficient muscle for breathing. Belly breathing helps you to strengthen the muscles in your diaphragm, which ultimately helps you breathe more efficiently because you have the power to empty your lungs.
Pro Tip: If you do lay down, try supporting the head and knees with pillows. (Placing pillows underneath the knees)
1. Bring the eyes to a close or low gaze, and exhale completely through your mouth.
2. Place one hand on your upper chest and the other just below your rib cage, allowing space for your diaphragm to move as you breathe. Keep the hand on your chest as still as possible.
3. Allow your stomach muscles to fall inward as you exhale through pursed lips. The hand on your chest should remain as still as possible.
4. Continue for 5-10 minutes.
Equal Breathing (Great for Racing & Out of Control Thoughts)
Equal breathing helps you to relax, focus, and be present.
Feel free to make the count higher to lengthen your breathing. Just make sure that the inhales & exhales are an even count.
1. Lengthen the spine, relax the shoulders, bring the eyes to a close or low gaze, and exhale completely through your mouth.
2. Allow the lips to gently touch as you inhale quietly through your nose for a mental count of 4.
3. Exhale slowly through the nose for a count of 4.
4. Repeat the cycle, until you feel relaxed.