Thursday, 9 February 2012

7 Minute Breathing Exercises |

7 Minute Breathing Exercises Photo Credit candle image by Fotocie from

Breath is an amazing tool that is often ignored. Simple breathing exercises can be invigorating and healing, according to Dr. Andrew Weil. Yoga practitioners have long believed that breath is the bridge to enlightenment. Find a simple, seven minute breathing exercise to incorporate into your day and enjoy an immediate burst of energy and alertness. With a little practice, your body will retrain itself to breathe deeper and more efficiently on its own.

4-7-8 Breathing

Dr. Weil recommends trying this exercise twice a day to combat anxiety and insomnia. Sit with a straight back. Relax and close your eyes. Curl the tip of your tongue up to rest at the gum line behind your upper front teeth. It will stay there through the exercise. Close your mouth and inhale through your nose for four counts. Hold for seven. Exhale through your mouth for a count of eight (making a swooshing sound around your tongue). Repeat for four or five minutes.

Alternate Nostril Breathing

Alternate nostril breathing enables clarity and relaxation, according to Yoga Journal. Use your thumb to gently close off your right nostril and take a deep slow breath in through the left nostril for three counts. During a brief pause, uncover your right nostril and close your left nostril with your ring finger. Breathe out through the right nostril for three counts. Breathe in again through the right nostril and then out through the left. Repeat for seven minutes.

Stimulating Breath

Dr. Weil believes that this stimulating breath exercise can be as invigorating as a good workout. Sit on your heels with your palms resting on your knees. Inhale and exhale quickly through your nose with your mouth closed. Breaths should be even, short, and noisy. Squeeze three in-and-out breath cycles into each second for fifteen seconds. Breathe normally for 45 seconds. Repeat this sequence seven times. Feel your abdomen, diaphragm, and throat working through these cleansing breaths.

Candle Breath

The Shambava School of Yoga suggests candle breathing for children or people who are prone to anxiety. This simple technique calms emotions and quiets the mind. Begin in a comfortable seated position. Inhale deeply through your nose for four counts. Feel the breath fill your abdomen. Pause briefly. Round your mouth into an “o” shape and exhale slowly for four counts. Imagine that you are gently blowing out a candle. Repeat this practice for seven minutes.


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