Breathing Technique

For this practice we’re gonna inhale through the nose for a count of 4, gently hold the breath for a count of 7, and then exhale through the mouth for a count of 8.

  1. Sit on the floor or in a chair, or stand with your feet planted on the ground.
  2. Take a second to intentionally pause. You might be coming into this practice with uncomfortable sensations, emotions, or thoughts, and I'm here to remind you that this is okay. This is a nervous system response — and we can maybe thank our nervous system for trying to protect us, and just spend the next few minutes being curious about trying something new. 
  3. To start, place the tip of your tongue up against the back of your front teeth, at the roof of the mouth.
  4. Breathe in silently through your nose for a count of 1… 2… 3… 4...
  5. Hold your breath for the count of 1… 2… 3… 4… 5… 6… 7…
  6. Exhale through your mouth, making an audible "whoosh" sound, for the count of 1… 2… 3… 4… 5… 6… 7… 8…
  7. Repeat the cycle another three times, for a total of four breaths.
  8. Once you’ve finished, notice if anything is different from just a few moments ago. Are there any shifts, however tiny or subtle, in how your body feels? Remember that whatever comes up is okay, and if you can, just check in with yourself and see if there’s anything else you need in this moment.

( i )      This breathing technique slows down and extends the out-breath, which sends a down-regulating signal through the vagus nerve that can make it easier for you to return to the green zone. If you have a Fitbit or an apple watch on you you can actually see how it lowers your heart rate and works as a natural tranquilliser for your nervous system. 

Due to how powerful this practice is in reducing your heart rate, it’s recommended you don't do more than four full breaths during the first month or so of practice.

Pen