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:
- put the fingers of your non-dominant hand on the wrist of your dominant hand.
- Feel for the pulse. Don't press, just feel, gently.
- 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.
- 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!