Breathing is free. Breathing has no side effects. Breathing affects us instantly…that is, when we remember to actively participate in our breath.

It’s not in our nature to practice something that’s already working for us. This is the secret mystery of the breath. It’s both a voluntary and an involuntary system in our amazing human bodies.

In a culture where it’s ingrained in you “Don’t fix something that isn’t broken,” why would you spend your precious time and energy on something that seems to be working just fine? After all…you are breathing…you are alive…you are functioning. But what if you could function better, and lower your blood pressure and heart rate, without side effects? What if you could change your genetic expression when your body endures stress? What if you could control your experience with disease and illness and avoid an emergency before it happened to you? What if you could manage your stress and anxiety levels without side effects, and all it took was 5 deep breaths and less than 2 minutes of your time? Would you do it?

Here’s how:
Breathe in to a count of 2
Hold your breath for a moment
Breathe out to a count of 4

Breathe in to a count of 2 or 3
Hold your breath for a moment
Breathe out to a count of 4 or 6

Breathe in to a count of 3 or 4
Hold your breath for a moment
Breathe out to a count of 6 or 8

Breath in to a count of 4 or 5
Hold your breath for a moment
Breathe out to a count of 8 or 10

Rest and repeat if you like.

The object is to notice that your exhale is longer than your inhale, and to do so gradually.

Taking this practice to the next level:
Notice the next time your mind is agitated, angry, frustrated, etc. In that moment make your exhale longer than your inhale. You don’t have to do the above practice at this point, simply make your exhale longer. See the results for yourself.

Please send in your comments and let us know how you’ve successfully used your breath to help you get through life’s challenging moments.