Saturday, 11 February 2012

Weil Breathing Exercises |

Weil Breathing Exercises Photo Credit pilates-breathing stretching image by Leticia Wilson from

Breathing exercises provide a natural form of stress relief that promotes your health at the same time. You can practice breathing exercises anywhere once you have mastered them. Start in a quiet location where you will not be bothered if you are easily distracted. Regular use of breathing exercises can make you less prone to health issues, according to Dr. Andrew Weil.

The Stimulating Breath

Perform the stimulating, or bellows, breath exercise to increase energy levels and alertness, which makes this an excellent breathing exercise to practice in the morning. The stimulating breath involves inhaling and exhaling deeply and quickly through the nose with the mouth closed. Inhalations and exhalations should last the same amount of time. If you are not making noise while breathing, you are doing the exercise wrong. Dr. Weil suggests trying two or three in-and-out breath cycles per second--the "bellows" name comes from the rapid cycle. Start by practicing for 15 seconds, increasing by 5 seconds at a time as you progress until you reach a full minute. Try not to breathe shallowly, as this could make you lightheaded.

Relaxing Breath

The relaxing breath, or 4-7-8, exercise focuses on breathing to a count. While sitting straight and comfortably, press your tongue against the roof of the mouth, just behind the teeth. After inhaling through the nose for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds. Exhale the breath around the tongue out of the mouth for 8 seconds. Begin with three cycles of this and increase as you see fit. This exercise should produce a calming effect, according to Dr. Weil.

Breath Counting

Breath counting, another form of meditative breathing, may help reduce stress and anxiety levels. Dr. Weil's breath counting exercise requires you to sit comfortably and straight while breathing normally. Take a few deep breaths with your eyes closed to prepare yourself. Go back to breathing normally. When you are ready, continue breathing normally while counting every exhalation as one. Once you reach your fifth exhalation, start again at one. So this means you inhale and exhale five times. Do not increase this exercise as you do the others. Instead, practice for longer periods of time, repeating the cycle of counting from one to five. Dr. Weil suggests aiming for 10 minutes of breath counting.


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