Path to Calm 003: 4-7-8 Breathing Technique

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Today’s post details the 4-7-8 (or Relaxing Breath) exercise. This breathing method is championed by Dr. Andrew Weil and can be an excellent sleep aid by oxygenating the blood, slowing heart rate, and expelling more carbon dioxide from the lungs.

1. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue.
2. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
3. Hold your breath for a count of seven.
4. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
5. This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths. Speed up or slow the cycles as necessary, but only start with four breaths until you become more comfortable to try adding more, up to a total of eight breaths.
6. Do this once to twice a day.

As always, let us know in the comments if you have any breathing techniques that you practice and we’ll feature you in a future post!

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