Video Source: Xavier Bloomer
In this video, Dr. Andrew Weil demonstrates how to practice the simple yet incredibly effective 4-7-8 Breathing Technique, which can be used to calm the nervous system, counteract stress, and help you fall asleep. The technique is based on pranayama, an ancient Indian practice that means ‘regulation of breath.’
This 4-7-8 Breathing Technique is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. Do it at least twice a day. You cannot do it too frequently. But, do not do more than four breaths at one time for the first month of practice.
Although you can do the exercise in any position, 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.
- 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.
READ MORE: Three Breathing Exercises