In my yoga teacher training (years ago) I learned a breathing exercise that is so beneficial to me. I love it, and it is so simple to learn.

Here are the steps:

  1. put the fingers of your non-dominant hand on the wrist of your dominant hand.
  2. Feel for the pulse. Don't press, just feel, gently.
  3. Now start breathing in the rhythm of the pulse, you can start with 3 for each step, and move up to a higher number if that is easy.
  4. The steps are: breathe in, hold breath, breathe out, be still

That means that if your number is three, you start with breathing in for 3 heartbeats, holding your breath for three heartbeats, breathe out for three heartbeats and then be still for three heartbeats.

And don't be afraid to change it up. I usually start with 5 or 7, and then when my heart beat slows (and it will) you can move to a lower count.

Keep this up for a couple of cycles at first, and then expand on it. If you feel extra daring you can add two to holding breath and still, for instance:

Breathe in 5, hold breath for 7, breathe out in 5, be still for 7 (or whatever your magic numbers are).

Most of all: enjoy!