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5 minute meditation and breathing exercise

 “Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.” Andrew Weil, M.D.

Meditation can literally be 5 minutes of breathing and it doesn’t have to be done on a white sandy beach, or in front of a waterfall. It can be done at your living room, your desk, or even your car. Simply close your eyes and notice your breath. Begin to let go from the top of your head down to the tips of your toes. Breath this way for a minute or 2.

Next we move into some counted breaths to promote deeper relaxation of the nervous system.  I first heard of this exercise during a seminar given by health pioneer, (and fellow meditator) Andrew Weil.

The numbers to remember are 4-7-8. Inhale for a count of 4, hold the breath for a count of 7, and exhale for a count of 8. Do this sequence 4 times in a row and up to 3 times per day.  It activates the parasympathetic nervous system, or the calming side where much healing happens. It’s excellent for chronic anxiety, especially when you’re super focused on your exhales.

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