There are many beneficial breathing techniques out there, most with the same aim and the same benefits. When you try the one that fits, you know. Some of them feel too forceful for me, but this one feels just right. My nervous system was on high alert for so long that when I heard Dr. Weil call this breathing practice “a tranquilizer for the nervous system” and the most powerful relaxation and most-effective anti-anxiety technique he has found . . . it was a YES for me. It’s gentle and relaxing, and an added bonus is that it’s super quick to practice daily.
- Blow out all your breath through your mouth.
- Breathe in through your nose for the count of four.
- Hold your breath for the count of seven.
- Blow out “audibly and forcefully” through your mouth for the count of eight.
- Repeat steps 3-5 three more times. For the first few months, only do four reps at a time.
- Dr. Weil suggests practicing the above steps at least twice a day. So twice a day as a practice, and then bring it out as needed for times when you notice you need to relax.
- It’ll probably take about 4-6 weeks to experience physiological changes.
- Initially this is not like popping a pill and suddenly feeling better. The benefits are seen after continued consistent practice, which is what makes it so this DOES eventually, after consistently practicing for a while, become a technique that creates immediate relief.
- I highly recommend watching Dr. Weil’s lovely video in which he demonstrates this breath. (And many thanks to Dr. Weil! ♡)
(originally written in 2022)