97/100 ~ Counted Breathing Practice (Pranayama) – Today I’m sharing a breathing practice that is simple and soothing. Try this breathing technique to calm yourself down, and also if you’re having trouble falling asleep. Counting your breath cycles is much more effective than counting those elusive sheep!

Benefits: This breathing practice helps to calm the mind and soothe the nervous system. This practice helps to slow and deepen the breath which improves oxygen levels in the body; increased circulation; stabilized blood pressure; boosted immune system; and relief from insomnia. Oh, that magical breath…

How to: Rest in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Begin by simply noticing your inhale, and noticing the exhale. As you feel ready, inhale to the count of 6. Hold the breath in for 2 seconds. Exhale to the count of 8. Hold the breath out for 2 seconds. Repeat…

You can modify the duration of the inhale and exhale depending on where you are with your yoga practice. For new yogis, sometimes the inhale is 3 or 4 seconds. Just create a rhythm in the breath cycles where your exhale is 2 seconds longer than the inhale. The longer you practice, the longer your breath cycles will become.

Mantra: “I am soothed by the rhythm of my breath.”

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