Don't Forget to Breathe

3 - 2 - 4 Breath From Your Core

I used to shy away from meditation and pranayama. Frankly, I still avoid using those words because they feel a little...heavy. But I re-designed a pattern for the Aligned Modern Health fam last week that’s pretty simple and effective, so I thought I’d re-share it here, too. Give it a shot.

The “3–2–4: Breath From Your Core” is an easy, relaxing breath technique that can be practiced anywhere. At first, the effects of this exercise may be subtle, but its effects compound over time with repetition and practice. To begin, sit in a chair with your back straight, neck and jaw relaxed, or lay back in a comfortable resting position.

Use:

  • Use whenever you are aware of tension or stress, need a quick energy boost, want to improve your focus, calm your nerves or fall asleep

3–2–4 Breath Steps:

  1. Rest your tongue lightly along the ridge of tissue located behind your front, upper teeth. Allow your tongue to rest here throughout the exercise.
  2. Exhale completely before you start a new cycle of breath.
  3. Close your mouth, inhale quietly through your nose as you count to three.
  4. Pause. Hold your breath for a count of two
  5. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a ‘whoosh’ sound, as you count to four.

Steps 3–5 make one full breath cycle. Repeat four more times for five total rounds. Try practicing it twice daily, to start.

Tips:

  • Inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth.
  • Exhales are cooling, calming, and invigorating!
  • Keep your tongue relaxed behind your teeth throughout.
  • If you have trouble holding your breath, consider a 2–1–3 breath pattern, following the same basic instructions.
  • After a month or so of practice, you may extend your breath cycles. Keep working up to longer holds and exhales, as is comfortable for you.
  • Lightheadedness is a normal side effect when you begin to practice. Continue practice if lightheadedness occurs, focusing on breath and remain calm. If lightheadedness does not pass, return to normal breathing pattern.

Originally written for Aligned Modern Health; visit their website, blog or locations for more tips, tricks and wellness treatments. I do not make money if you do this, but feel free to let ’em know I sent you.