Resting Home » Breathing » 4-7-8 breathing technique
 
WHAT IS IT
The 4-7-8 breathing exercise is simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere.

The exercise is promoted by Dr. Andrew Weill. 

WHY DO IT
This breathing exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system.

Unlike tranquilizing drugs, which are often effective when you first take them but then lose their power over time, this exercise is subtle when you first try it, but gains in power with repetition and practice. Do it at least twice a day. You cannot do it too frequently.

HOW TO DO IT
It can be done in any position, but a preferred position is to sit with your back straight while learning the exercise.

Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise.

You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.

Then do as follows:
  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  • Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
  • Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
  • This is one breath.
  • Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
Note that with this breathing technique, you always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth.

The tip of your tongue stays in position the whole time.

Exhalation takes twice as long as inhalation. The absolute time you spend on each phase is not important; the ratio of 4:7:8 is important. 

Do not do more than four breaths at one time for the first month of practice.

Later, if you wish, you can extend it to eight breaths.

If you feel a little lightheaded when you first breathe this way, do 

Use it whenever anything upsetting happens – before you react. Use it whenever you are aware of internal tension or stress. Use it to help you fall asleep.

Demonstration by Dr. Andrew Weill here:



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