Breathing for Relaxation

May 2, 2022

Eileen Yager, MD
July 28, 2022 / 5 mins read

There are two ways to perform this relaxation practice. Dr Eileen Yager shares her tips! Follow along with the video below!

SITTING: Sit in a comfortable chair or on a pillow on the floor. Keep your hands on your lap or at your sides or on the arms of the chair. Close your eyes.

Take a deep slow breath to the count of 4 through the nose. Do not hold your breath but immediately start breathing out to the count of 4. Let your shoulders relax and drop down as you breathe out. Feel your body relaxing into the chair or pillow. Keep counting and breathe in with no pause, to a slow count of 4. Breathe out to the count of 4 without holding your breath.

Repeat this for two minutes. This is not the natural breath pattern, so you have to pay attention to your breathing and counting. It is very relaxing and can be done several times each day, especially when you are upset or stressed. It doesn’t matter exactly how fast you count, as long as it is a slow count. If you start thinking about other things, just start counting a new breath again and don’t be upset.

LYING DOWN VARIATION: Lie on your back on a bed, couch, carpet or mat. If you have a small pillow, put it under your knees. As you breathe in to the slow count of 4, push your stomach out and as you breathe out to the count of 4, it goes down again. Do not hold your breath either at the end of inhaling or at the end of exhaling. Keep counting and breathing SLOWLY for two minutes. Let your body relax as you breathe out.