Extend Your Exhale - 4 to 7 Breath
Making your exhale longer than your inhale is a wonderfully simple way to bring calm anytime, anywhere. It is particularly useful to use in labour as extending the exhale also helps to alleviate discomfort. Exhaling through the mouth ensures the jaw is relaxed which is also highly beneficial for birth as it helps ensure the cervix, birth canal and perineum also remain relaxed which facilitates your baby's journey from the womb to the outside world.
Start by practicing the technique for just 3 minutes daily and notice if you feel calmer as a result.
Here are the steps:
1. Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath.
2. Count your inhale to a count of 4. Count your exhale to a count of 4.
3. Gradually extend the count of your exhale up to a count of 7, while maintaining the inhale to a count of 4.
4. Continue for 3-5 minutes, then let your breath return to it's natural rhythm.
Take a moment to see how you feel after the practice.
Don't strain or force the breath - this is counterproductive as it creates tension in the body. The breath should remain comfortable throughout the practice.
I hope you find this practice useful :-)
Need some grounding? Try this simple technique to bring you back to YOU.