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4-7-8 breath technique

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Nutritional information

Relaxation
Awareness
Focus
Mindfulness
Calmness

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4-7-8 breath technique

Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again. — Thích Nhất Hạnh

  • 5 minutes
  • Easy

Directions

A breathing technique to relax and calm down.

In a world constantly running, one of the wisest things we can do to boost our wellbeing is to stop for a moment. As Thích Nhất Hạnh points out in his book Touching Peace, “Breathing is the best way to stop – to stop unhappiness, agitation, fear, and anger.” Importantly, stopping does not mean we repress what is creating anxiety or fear; but it simply allows us to calm down and gain clarity to figure out our next steps.

The following activity has been taken from issue 21 of Flow magazine. This relaxing yoga-inspired 4-7-8 breath technique has been created by Dr Andrew Weil from Arizona in the USA. Find our more about Dr Weil and his work at https://drweil.com.

*Image © Endro Gunawan
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Steps

1
Done

Setting up

Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth just behind your teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise.

2
Done

Clearing

Exhale completely and forcefully through your mouth, making a 'whoosh' sound.

3
Done

Inhaling

Close your mouth and and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.

4
Done

Holding

Hold your breath and count to seven.

5
Done

Exhaling

Exhale completely and forcefully through your mouth, making another 'whoosh' sound, to a count of eight.

6
Done

Repeating

Inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths (steps 3-5).

Alessia Cervone

Chief Empowerment Officer at euforia. Co-founder Recipes for Wellbeing. Facilitator at Ashoka's ChangemakerXchange. Radical Collaboration Facilitator and Trainer.

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