When we get stressed a number of things happen to our bodies – and one thing we do do is increase our breathing rate. We start to take shorter breathes predominately only using one third of your lung capacity (or chest breathing) – which can lead to a whole host of postural problems (which many of us already suffer from). So today I want to teach you a really fast and easy way to is reducing our breathing rate.
Slow breathing exercise
1. Time the number of breaths you take in 1 minute (in and out counts as 1) Record your breathing rate.
2. Hold your breath and count to 5 (do not take a deep breath) when you get to 5 breath out and say the word “relax” to yourself in a calm, soothing manner.
3. Start breathing in (through your nose) and out slowly in a 6 second cycle. In for 3 seconds and out for 3 seconds. This will produce a breathing rate of 10 breathes per minute. In the beginning it can be helpful to time your breathing using a watch.
4. Count to yourself: In two three, relax two three.
5. Continue breathing in a six second cycle for at least 5 minutes or until the symptoms of over breathing have settled.
6. After you have practiced this exercise, time the number of breaths you take in 1 minute and record.
You can also count to 8 (4 in, 4 out) or even 10 (5 in, 5 out) these exercises are great for cultivating energy or chi and can help to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system – which you can learn more about by reading this.