Unsure What To Do? Breathe. Exhale. Repeat.

“Breathe. Exhale. Repeat.” is the title of a popular article (NY Times, 9 Nov 2016) on the how-to, and benefits of, controlled breathing. As the article puts it, “Controlled breathing … has been shown to reduce stress, increase alertness and boost your immune system. … It’s meditation for people who can’t meditate.”

So how does one do “controlled breathing”? It actually isn’t all that hard to master because you already know the basics: draw air in, hold, push air out. Here are instructions for a practice called Coherent Breathing (the article also provides instructions for two other breathing techniques: Stress Relief and Energizing HA Breath):

  1. Sitting upright or lying down, place your hands on your belly.

  2. Slowly breathe in, expanding your belly, to the count of five.

  3. Pause.

  4. Slowly breathe out to the count of six.

  5. Work your way up to practicing this pattern for 10 to 20 minutes a day.

If you would like to give Coherent Breathing (or any other practice that you can do silently and in stillness), come try it out during our silent meditation periods. Feel free to sit upright or lie down. Both positions are welcome.