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By Elie Brayshaw

Rhythmic breathing

Rhythmic breathing is a technique that involves consciously controlling your breath to create a regular and steady pattern. This practice is often used to induce a calm and centered state by promoting relaxation and reducing stress. Here's an explanation of rhythmic breathing patterns and how they can be employed for relaxation:

  1. Deep Breathing:

    • Begin by finding a quiet and comfortable space.

    • Inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your lungs to fill with air.

    • Exhale slowly and completely through your mouth, emptying your lungs.

    • Focus on the expansion and contraction of your chest and abdomen.

  2. Equal Breathing (Sama Vritti):

    • Inhale for a specific count, such as four counts.

    • Exhale for the same count, maintaining a balanced and equal rhythm.

    • This helps balance the inhale and exhale, promoting a sense of equilibrium.

  3. 4-7-8 Breathing (Relaxing Breath):

    • Inhale quietly through your nose for a count of 4.

    • Hold your breath for a count of 7.

    • Exhale completely and audibly through your mouth for a count of 8.

    • Repeat this cycle a few times.

  4. Box Breathing (Square Breathing):

    • Inhale for a count of 4.

    • Hold your breath for a count of 4.

    • Exhale for a count of 4.

    • Pause and hold your breath for a count of 4.

    • Repeat the cycle.

  5. Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana):

    • Sit comfortably with your spine straight.

    • Use your right thumb to close your right nostril and inhale through your left nostril.

    • Close your left nostril with your right ring finger, release the right nostril, and exhale.

    • Inhale through the right nostril, close it with your right thumb, release the left nostril, and exhale.

    • Repeat, alternating nostrils.

  6. Guided Breathing Meditation:

    • Listen to or follow a guided meditation that incorporates rhythmic breathing.

    • Many meditation apps or online platforms offer guided sessions specifically designed for relaxation through breath control.


Tips for Effective Rhythmic Breathing:

  • Focus your attention on your breath and try to clear your mind of distractions.

  • Practice regularly, preferably in a quiet and comfortable environment.

  • Experiment with different patterns to find what works best for you.

  • Combine rhythmic breathing with visualization or positive affirmations for added relaxation.


By incorporating rhythmic breathing into your routine, you can activate the body's relaxation response, reduce stress hormones, and promote a sense of calm and centeredness. Regular practice can lead to long-term benefits for both mental and physical well-being.

Author Elie Brayshaw 

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