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Published on June 24, 2016

young woman taking deep breath

Relax. Take a Deep Breath.

Meditative and restorative breathing is a great way to unwind when you have a few quiet minutes.

There are several methods for beginners, but the experts at Avera Medical Group Integrative Medicine often recommend what’s known as relaxing breathing or the 4-7-8 exercise.

This can be used to help you fall asleep or relieve tension in a stressful situation.

4-7-8 Exercise

It’s recommended to sit with your back straight while you are learning this exercise. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue behind your upper teeth.

  • Exhale completely through your mouth
  • Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose for a count of four
  • Hold your breath for a count of seven
  • Exhale completely through your mouth to a count of eight
  • Repeat this cycle three more times

It’s important to keep the 4:7:8 ratio, so if you have trouble holding your breath, speed up your counts.

It’s recommended you do this exercise twice daily. Do not do more than four breaths at one time during the first month of practice. Over time, you can extend it to eight breaths.

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