This is a SIMPLE breathing activity that can be utilized where ever you are. In traffic, in a stressful meeting, at your desk, during an argument with a loved one…ANYWHERE. The intent of the activity is to slow the breath and deepen the breath. It can be used to reduce stress, reduce fatigue, improve focus. This can also be used to calm your mind before sleep. Even doing this 2 or 3 times will make a tremendous difference in your stress response. For maximum results, lie down in a quiet area with no distractions and with dim light and do for 5-15 minutes.
We have provided a guided audio that you can use to begin your practice and to help you stay focused, but the instructions are very simple:
Sit, stand or lie comfortably with aligned posture to allow for free movement of the chest and abdomen.
Breathe in for a count of 4, Hold for a count of 4, breath out for a count of 4, then hold for a count of 4
Breathe with your abdomen not your chest. Your abdomen should rise, while your chest moves minimally.
Breathe gently, not forcefully.
If any discomfort exists, either count faster or reduce the count by 1.
If a visual image helps, imagine a square and watch the edges with your mind’s eye.
Keep your timing consistent.
You can choose to breathe through your nose or mouth, whichever is comfortable for you. Just be consistent!
Over time you may wish to extend the timing to 5, 6, 7, or EVEN 8 counts