At Aligned Modern Health, we recommend using breathing techniques to help reduce stress and promote relaxation. Controlled breathing can also boost your immune system, help lower blood pressure, and may increase alertness – keeping your mind and body functioning at their best.
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 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 From Your Core Steps:
1. Rest your tongue lightly along the ridge of tissue located behind your front, upper teeth. Allow it 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. Let your belly and chest fill up with breath.
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. Let your belly and chest release.
- Steps 3-5 make one full breath cycle. Repeat four more times for five total rounds. Try practicing twice daily, to start.
- Inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth.
- 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. Exhales are cooling, calming, and invigorating!
- Lightheadedness is a normal side effect when you begin to practice. Continue to focus on the 3-2-4 breath and remain calm until it passes. If it does not pass, return to your normal breathing pattern.