In the last lesson, you learned the breath counting technique.
In this lesson, you will learn the stimulating breath. Now, this exercise is more of a technique to use when you need a good energy boost vs stress relief. However, it is a great breath to "have in your back pocket" so to speak.
It is important to note that there are many other varieties of breathing techniques such as box breathing, balancing breath, etc. that can be helpful for stress and other circumstances. I would encourage you to look into breathing techniques further if learning additional techniques is something that is of interest to you.
Let's get into the stimulating breath, and again this is one taught by Dr. Weil. As you can see, he is my go-to resource for breathing techniques.
The STIMULATING BREATH, or Bellows Breath, as it can be referred to, is a rapid breath. You want to try for 3 in-and-out breath cycles per second. So it is very, very rapid.
This produces a quick movement of the diaphragm, similarly to a bellows. Breathe normally after each cycle.
Do not do this for more than 10 seconds on your first try.
Each time you practice, you can increase your time by five seconds or so, until you reach a full minute.
This is a very, very rapid breathing technique. If done properly, you may feel invigorated, similar to the heightened awareness you would feel after a good workout.
You should feel the effort at the back of the neck, the diaphragm, the chest and the abdomen.
And again you want to practice this by having a straight back and in a seated position.
Like I mentioned earlier, this exercise is really less of a relaxation or stress technique but more of a technique to use when you need a good energy boost or feel yourself needing to reach for a cup of coffee.
It is also useful if you are falling asleep or need energy when driving.
This breath also helps if you are cold. It will warm you up, and you could experience a tingling energy in the arms and hands.
YOUR TASK: try using this technique when you are feeling low on energy and note afterwards if it helped. Again, do NOT do this for more than 10 seconds on your first try.
Now that you have tried out each of these 3 techniques, pick ONE to focus on daily for the next 2 weeks. I recommend either the Relaxation breath OR the Breath Counting technique as these will be the aptest to help you in stress relief.
Use the stimulating breath as needed for energy.
In the next lesson, you will learn how to work these techniques into your routine on a consistent basis.