This incredibly simple but effective relaxing breathing technique is also known as ‘The Relaxing Breath’. It is being pioneered by Dr. Andrew Weil and is based on pranayama, an ancient Indian practice which means ‘regulation of breath’. It is described to be ‘a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system’ and eases the body into a state of calmness and relaxation. It mimics some of the de-stressing elements of meditation and relaxes your body almost immediately.
Dr Weil recommends practising this relaxing breathing technique sat up with your back straight, twice a day for six to eight weeks in order to perfect it. Once the technique has been mastered, it becomes more effective and can also be used to deal with tension.
Here are the five simple steps you need to follow:
1. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a ‘woosh’ sound
2. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of 4
3. Hold your breath for a count of 7
4. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound for a count of 8
5. The above is one breath. Repeat the cycle three more times.