Popular Techniques

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Types of Relaxation Breathing Exercise

There are several variations on relaxation breathing exercises you can learn to help interrupt stress and relax. They all involve breathing in and then out for a set length of time. Some include a period of holding your breath as well. They require no equipment and very little time, so can be done almost anywhere. IN fact, once you learn waht the relaxaed state feels like you, I find, that you can often achieve the same thing with just a single deep breath to remind your body what you're aiming for.

Deep and Even

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This is the basic technique most often recommended by health care providers. It simply entails breathing in for five seconds and then breathing out for five seconds. It does not require you to hold your breath which some people find uncomfortable. It may take a few tries to get to five seconds, but don’t worry and don’t try to force it. You should find it gets easier with each breath.

Repeat the process three times and then take a moment to recover and notice how more relaxed you feel before repeating a series of three breaths if you need it.

Try our exercise here.

Box, Quad or Square

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This is a popular breathing exercise, reportedly used by US Navy Seals, is sometimes called quad or square breathing because each of the four elements is performed for the same length of time.

It involves breathing in, holding your breath, before breathing out and holding your again. Each element is performed for the same length of time. Our exercise is based on 4 seconds for each element as we think this is the most comfortable for people who aren’t highly trained military commandos.

Please note, for some people holding your breath is physically difficult or can induce anxiety. So this exercise is not for everyone.

Try our version here.


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This breathing exercise was outlined by integrative medicine expert, Dr Andrew Weil, and involves a taking a natural 4-second breath in, holding it for 7 seconds and then exhaling slowly over 8 seconds with a definite "whoosh". Dr Weil suggests you repeat this three times.

Try our version here.

Lion’s Breath

A yoga exercise, sometimes called Simha Pranayama, which involves a focussed breath and strong exhale with open mouth.

A quick search of the internet will provide numerous examples of how to perform it properly. But here’s my favourite - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdUyHPa66A4.

The key feature for us busy antelopes is that you exhale noisily by opening your mouth as wide as possible and make a “haaaa” sound. This has the benefit of stretching muscles around the jaw which can be tense under stress.

Personally, I think you can add this final “roar” to the exhale of any of the above exercises, but probably not while riding a busy train into work in the morning.

Our relaxation breathing exercises let you try the different techniques and practice the one you like most.

WorkPlace WellBeing

We offer a range of relaxation breathing animations for you to add to your website or include in your workplace wellbeing strategy. You can either choose one of our existing designs or have these customised to suit your corporate style. Further details can be found here.


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