As I've mentioned often in my blog, I am a huge fan of yoga and incorporate it into my weekly routine in order to keep myself grounded and calm.
There are moments, however, when I find myself stressed or upset and yoga is not easily accessible.
During these times, I turn to deep breathing exercises to renew my sense of calm. This Relaxation Breathing Exercise from Dr. Weil is my "go to" breathing exercise for instant relief.
Here's how to do it:
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
- Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
- Hold your breath for a count of seven.
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
- This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
Click Here for the full exercise (along with two other breathing techniques he recommends)
Sometimes, instead of sitting upright, I like to lay down on my back with my eyes closed. Do what works best for you.
You may find that while you're trying to relax, distracting thoughts will make their way into your mind. Maybe you're thinking about all of the things you have to do the next day or you can't seem to stop thinking about that overwhelming project or deadline you have to meet at work. If these distracting thoughts come into your head, bless them and lovingly let them go.They don't serve you.
Once you release them, return to your breath.
You may find that focusing on your counting during your deep breathing exercises will make it easier to focus on your breath and keep out the distractions.
Inhale love, peace, and calm. Exhale your worries, fears, and tension. Be present and return to the breath whenever your mind starts to wander. This is not easy, but the more you practice, the easier it will be.
Give this a try the next time you feel overwhelmed by your thoughts, emotions, or circumstances outside of your control. You'll be amazed at how much calmer your mind and body feel after you give yourself the opportunity to relax by doing these deep breathing exercises. The best part? You can do this anytime, anywhere.
[Click Here for more relaxation tips]