Learn how to do the 4-4 Breathing Exercise in this short tutorial. Breathwork can greatly reduce stress & anxiety in a minute or less. Learn how to calm the mind and live a happier & healthier life with YogiNest. Stay tuned for my top breathing exercises over the next few weeks and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more tutorials.
What is breathwork? In this quick video I share a brief description of what breathwork is, why I love it, and how it can change your life. You can reduce stress & anxiety in a minute or less with simple breathwork exercises. Stay tuned for my top 3 breathing exercises over the next few weeks and subscribe to our YouTube channel for detailed tutorials.
This is breathing technique #1 of the breathing series we’re doing over the next few weeks. It’s called 4-4 Breathing. You’ll be inhaling & exhaling, both for the count of 4. This is the 1st technique I teach new clients. It’s easy, quick to learn & you can do it anywhere. It’s great for beginners & experienced practitioners. Breathing techniques can help you connect body + mind. They are part of my yoga, meditation & mindfulness classes. They’re GREAT for stress, bring oxygen into the body, can help you heal & teach you so much about yourself, emotionally & physically.
Save this blog post to reference later!
Before you begin this breathing meditation start by taking a nice, long, slow, deep breath in through your nose. On your exhale, open your mouth and let it go. Let your exhale be audible, the sound you would make if you were fogging up a window, mirror, or a pair of glasses. A gentle sigh works too, or let it be as loud as you’d like. If you’re in a crowd I’d still like you to do this but it can be quiet, I promise no one will even notice. If it’s accessible to you, you may place your hands on your belly, on your heart, or one hand on your belly and one hand on your heart. It will be nice to feel your breath under your hands, and allows you to move deeper inside of yourself, amplifying the experience. You’ll still get the same benefits if this is not available to you at the moment. As with the placement of your hands, if it’s accessible to you, you may now close your eyes. Whether or not you’re closing your eyes, make sure the face & jaw is relaxed. We hold a lot of stress & tension in our jaws by clenching the jaw together. You may open and close the mouth a few times here, then let the tongue rest gently between the bottom teeth. Allow your shoulders to melt down away from your ears, giving your neck lots of space to release & relax. Then begin your counting exercise.
Inhaling & exhaling through your nose. Let the inhales & exhales be slow & long. Filling the entire space between your bellybutton & collarbones.
Inhale – Counting slowly… 1, 2, 3, 4. Remember 1 mississippi, 2 mississippi.
Exhale… 1, 2, 3, 4
Inhale… 1, 2, 3, 4
Exhale… 1, 2, 3, 4
You may repeat this as many times as you’d like, but I would suggest doing this for a minimum of 30-60 seconds. You can set a timer on your phone. The longer and more often you do this exercise the more you’ll feel the benefits, but I can tell you from experience that if you’re in a very stressful situation, or you’re having a panic attack, doing 1 solid round will definitely make you feel less stressed out & less anxious. You’ll feel your heart rate decrease, blood pressure will lower, your physical body will feel less tense, your thoughts will slow down. You’ll be pulling yourself out of the fight-or-flight response and into the parasympathetic response, which is much better for your general health & well-being.
You can do this lying down, before or after yoga or exercise, sitting on the couch, in your car, on a walk, at work, anywhere. Breathing techniques are helpful in a pinch; during stressful situations, heavy traffic, when you can’t sleep or are feeling anxious.
NOTE: Not all breathing techniques should be done while driving but the 3 that I’m providing over the next few weeks should be fine. If you find yourself becoming too relaxed, lightheaded, or distracted avoid using them while driving.
*Improve mental & physical well-being
*Promotes deep relaxation
*Improves emotional state
*Reduce stress & anxiety levels
*Can boost immunity
*Can help you process emotions & heal emotional pain, grief & trauma
*Can reduce the symptoms of chronic pain, depression & PTSD
*Help you work through anger issues
*Can reduce the symptoms of the emotional effects of illness
*Improves energy levels
Over the next few weeks I’m going to be sharing my top 3 breathing techniques. I teach all 3 of these to my new clients. They are easy, accessible & actionable. I think they’re great for beginners & advanced students alike. You don’t have to have any special skills to do these techniques, you just need to know how to breath & I think you’ve probably got that one figured out since you’re reading this. You can do them anywhere & anytime, just like how you’re breathing wherever you are right now. That’s how simple this is. I love doing these breathing techniques lying down but I find they’re very helpful in a pinch; during stressful situations, heavy traffic, when I can’t sleep & when I’m feeling anxious. Breathwork is MAGIC! Keep an eye out for these techniques, they’ll be posted one-by-one over the next few weeks. I’ve added some benefits below.
→ Improve mental & physical well-being
→ Promotes deep relaxation
→ Improves emotional state
→ Reduce stress & anxiety levels
→ Can boost immunity
→ Can help you process emotions & heal emotional pain, grief & trauma
→ Can reduce the symptoms of chronic pain, depression & PTSD
→ Help you work through anger issues
→ Can reduce the symptoms of the emotional effects of illness
→ Improves energy levels
S = Stop⠀
T = Take a breath⠀
O = Observe⠀
P = Proceed⠀
Anytime you start to feel stress or anxiety creep up use the acronym, STOP!!!⠀
Stop! Take a nice deep inhale through the nose. Notice how the air is cool as it enters the nostrils. Now take a nice long exhale out of the nose. Notice that the air is now warm. Take another deep breath in through the nose, but this time on your exhale open the mouth and let it go, finding release and relaxation. Observe where you are. Observe your thoughts and emotions. Observe how the physical body feels. Now proceed. ⠀
Use this acronym any time you feel the need to bring your body and mind back into balance.⠀
I have found that this simple little exercise has taught me how to respond to stress more effectively. It allows me to have more control over how I react and shortens the amount of time stress and anxiety has “control” over the present moment. ⠀
Save this blog post so you can come back to it anytime stress or anxiety starts creeping up, and share it with others that might find it useful. Happy Monday.
Let’s face it, life is bananas, and it just keeps getting more bananas every single day. We all have so much on our plates; work, family, friends and our own dreams and personal maintenance. Sometimes I can barely find time to shower, eat lunch or even breath (I’m being a bit dramatic) you get the point, and I know you know what I mean. These high-stress lifestyles that “most” of us are living these days simply aren’t good for our health. It’s imperative we learn how to slow down and quiet the mind from time to time, let YogiNest show you how.