Method 1: The “chill out” breathing technique 4-4-4-4:
- Inhale to a count of 4 quietly through your nose, filling the lowest part of your abdomen.
- Hold your breath for a count of 4.
- Exhale to a count of 4 through your mouth.
- Hold for a count of 4.
Repeat at least three or four times. Do this whenever stressed.
Method 2: Natural qigong breathing:
- Inhale slowly and quietly through your nose, filling the lowest part of your abdomen. Feel your tummy expanding outward like a balloon.
- Exhale slowly and quietly through your nose. Feel your tummy moving back towards your spine.
In the beginning you may wish to place your centered palms over your belly button to enhance the feeling. Work up to a minimum of 5 – 6 breath cycles per minute. Perform this breath 3 to 4 times daily.
5 breath cycles per minute = 6 seconds in, 6 seconds out
6 breath cycles per minute = 5 seconds in, 6 seconds out
As you become comfortable with the technique you can do it sitting, standing, or lying down. Movement is added when we practice qigong.
Qigong breathing is DEEP into the belly. QUIET, at an EVEN pace, and SLOW. If you were to hold a small feather in front of your nostrils, your breath would not move the feather!
- Breath bridges conscious and unconscious
- Breath connects body and mind
- Breath equals, approximates, or touches spirit
- Breath awareness puts consciousness in neutral
- Breathing should be abdominal/diaphragmatic
- Breathing should be deep, slow, quiet, regular – from Andrew Weil, M.D.
- “Practicing slow breathing a few minutes a day may have lasting beneficial effects on a number of medical and emotional disorders, including asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and depression…” – from Michael Greger, M.D.
Deeper – Slower – Quieter – Even Paced
Why do we do it? To strengthen the mind-body connection.
Helpful links and smartphone/tablet apps:
- How to video: https://youtu.be/YdsipKCACac
- See the Breathe2Relax and Tactical Breather apps: