This Breath exercise is an easy, gentle and efficient practice that can have a significant effect on physiology when it is practiced consistently over a period of time.
You will inhale through your nose quietly and exhale through your mouth noisily, curling your tongue in a circle (it helps to purse your lips) exhaling through your tongue as if it were a straw. The sound when you exhale is a kind of whoosh. Try this a few times so that you get comfortable with exhaling through your mouth and through your tongue.
– Begin the Refocusing Breath by exhaling through your mouth completely.
– Next, Breath in through your nose to the count of Four
– Then hold your breath to the count of seven (7 seconds)
– Then, exhale through your mouth to the count of eight.(8 seconds)
– When you exhale make the whooshing sound through your tongue and pursed lips.
– Repeat the process of 4/7/8 for a total of four cycles (you will find this takes very little time).
Your exhalation must last for a count of eight, so resist the temptation to blow it all out in the first 2 seconds. Let out a slow, measured breath; then repeat the cycle again. At the end of four cycles breathe normally without trying to influence the breath.
To reap the long-term benefits of the Refocusing Breath, do a minimum of four cycles twice a day. After a couple of weeks you can increase the number of cycles to eight, twice a day. Over time you will begin to notice the subtle but tangible affects of practicing the Refocusing Breath.
I do this Breath Exercise before I meditate as it calms and clears my mind, it is also good to do if you have trouble sleeping.
We had been teaching this Breath exercise for many years in the Life Shift Programs when about 10 years ago Oprah Winfrey had some doctors on her show measuring heart rate and blood pressure and both showed a significant improvement after doing this exercise.
About the Author
Blanche Tanner is a visiting therapist at Healing Connections. She has been a Master Breath Practitioner for over 30 years, Family and Human Systems Constellation Facilitation, Woman’s Retreats. Blanche has been involved with personal growth; spiritual awareness and healing work for over 35 years in Canada and in Europe. Read her bio here.