3 Breaths per minute. Meditate with Nate – Episode 4

3 Breaths per minute. Meditate with Nate – Episode 4 1280 800 Nate Guadagni
Meditate with Nate Episode 4 – Trapezoid Breath

“Meditation is simply training our state of being so that our mind and body can be synchronized. Through the practice of meditation, we can learn to be without deception, to be fully genuine and alive.”
Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

In the trapezoid breath you will breath with the pattern: 6 – 4 – 8 – 2
6: Inhale
4: Retain inhale
8: Exhale
2: Retain exhale

If you count each number as one second, it will take you 20 seconds to make each breath.
This is 3 breaths per minute, much slower than the average or 15 breaths per minute.

If you feel dizzy, lightheaded or in any way uncomfortable, simply return to a normal breathing pattern until you feel better.

It may take a while for your nervous system and body to adapt to this slow type of breathing.
Don’t force it!

How to Meditate
by Pema Chodran​​​

The Benefits of Controlled Breathing

By LESLEY ALDERMAN NOV. 9, 2016 New York Times

“Controlled breathing may also affect the immune system. Researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina divided a group of 20 healthy adults into two groups. One group was instructed to do two sets of 10-minute breathing exercises, while the other group was told to read a text of their choice for 20 minutes. The subjects’ saliva was tested at various intervals during the exercise. The researchers found that the breathing exercise group’s saliva had significantly lower levels of three cytokines that are associated with inflammation and stress. The findings were published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine in August.”

I hope that you enjoy this Trapezoid Breath Meditation, let me know how it goes for you! Please write any questions or suggestions in the comments and make sure to subscribe to this channel to get the next video!

Subscribe to the Bo Yoga YouTube Channel here and you will get notifications when I release new videos each week.

Rectangle Breath with Lotus Wrap and Music. Meditate with Nate – Episode 3

Rectangle Breath with Lotus Wrap and Music. Meditate with Nate – Episode 3 1280 800 Nate Guadagni

Rectangle Breath with Lotus Wrap and Music.
Meditate with Nate Episode 3.

There are many breathing patterns that you can do for pranayama or meditation. The Rectangle Breath is a powerful formula to help you become more aware of the four quadrants of your breath as well as to gain the power to manage your nervous system through breathing, which can help reduce anxiety and stress.

The Lotus Wrap will help you meditate more easily. If you have discomfort while sitting in meditation, you can buy your own Lotus Wrap here:

Whats that great music you heard in the background?
DJ Taz Rashid and Ingmarlo of course!

You can buy their album or stream here:

I hope that you enjoy this Rectangle Breath Meditation , and let me know how it goes for you!

Please write any questions or suggestions in the comments and make sure to subscribe to this channel to get the next video!

See you next time!



Free Meditation App:

How Many Breaths in Ten Minutes? – Meditate With Nate – Episode 2

How Many Breaths in Ten Minutes? – Meditate With Nate – Episode 2 1280 800 Nate Guadagni

Have you ever counted how many times you breathe in 10 mins?

It may be harder than you think!

Free Meditation App:

Mindful Relationships: Seven Skills for Success Integrating the science of mind, body and brain.

By: Dr. B. Grace Bullock

Buy the book here:

Quotes from the book:

1. “During the past several decades, contemplative neuroscientists have explored how mindfulness practices like meditation may alter brain structure and connectivity and enhance mental function.”

2. The more often we perform a task, the stronger the connections between neurons become. It’s sort of like exercising your bicep. The muscle grows bigger and stronger with repeated use. Unlike your muscles, however, networks in the brain are capable not only of increasing in size, but also of changing function depending on how they’re used. You’ve probably heard the expression, “Neurons that fire together wire together” (Shatz 1992)

3. Regular meditation practice is linked to improved learning, memory, and increased self-awareness. A study of 16 adults following an eight-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MSBR) course demonstrated increases in grey matter in the brain regions associated with perspective-taking, emotion regulation, learning, memory, and self-referential processing. Participants also reported feeling less stress.

Listen to my interview with Dr. B Grace Bullock about her book here:

I hope that you enjoy this 10 Minute Breath Count, and let me know how it goes for you!

Please share your count in the comments and ask me any questions that you may have.

See you next time!







1. Brewer et al. 2011; Creswell et al 2016; Holzel et al. 2010,2011a: Jha, Krompinger, & Baine 2007; Lazar et al. 2005: Tang, Hozel, & Posner 2015.

3. (Hozel et al. 2011a)


Meditate with Nate: Episode 2: 10 Minute Breath Count

How to meditate – Meditate with Nate – Episode 1

How to meditate – Meditate with Nate – Episode 1 1280 800 Nate Guadagni

Meditate with Nate Episode 1 – 100 Count Breath What is meditation, and how do I do it?

“Meditation refers to a family of self-regulation practices that focus on training attention and awareness in order to bring mental processes under greater voluntary control and thereby foster general mental well-being and development and/or specific capacities such as calm, clarity, and concentration.”

-Roger Walsh & Shauna L. Shapiro. American Psychologist.

This is one description that I like, and there are many more.

Some research on meditation has shown that it can:

1. Help you sleep better.

2. Reduce stress.

3. Slim your waistline.

4. Decrease Pain

5. Reduce Anxiety.

6. Lift Depression.

7. Improve your love life.

* Research references at the bottom

I hope that you enjoy this 100 Count Breath, and let me know how it goes for you. Please share your experience in the comments and ask me any questions that you may have.

See you next time!







* Research References:

1. S. Patra, S. Telles, Positive impact of cyclic meditation on subsequent sleep, Medical Science Monitor 2009; 15(7): CR375-381, June 2009

2. L. Flook, S. B. Goldberg, L. Pinger, K. Bonus and R. J. Davidson. (2013). Mindfulness for Teachers: A Pilot Study to Assess Effects on Stress, Burnout, and Teaching Efficacy. Mind, Brain, and Education, Volume 7, Issue 3, pages 182–195, September 2013.

3. 2. Jennifer Daubenmier, Jean Kristeller, Frederick M. Hecht, Nicole Maninger, Margaret Kuwata, Kinnari Jhaveri, Robert H. Lustig, Margaret Kemeny, Lori Karan, and Elissa Epel. (2013). Mindfulness Intervention for Stress Eating to Reduce Cortisol and Abdominal Fat among Overweight and Obese Women: An Exploratory Randomized Controlled Study. Journal of Obesity Volume 2011, Article ID 651936, 13 pages.

4. Zeidan, J.A. Grant, C.A. Brown, J.G. McHaffie, and R.C. Coghill. (2012). Mindfulness meditation-related pain relief: Evidence for unique brain mechanisms in the regulation of pain. Neurosci Lett. Jun 29; 520(2): 165–173.

5. Hoge EA, Bui E, Marques L, Metcalf CA, Morris LK, Robinaugh DJ, Worthington JJ, Pollack MH, Simon NM. (2013). Randomized Controlled Trial of Mindfulness Meditation for Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Effects on Anxiety and Stress Reactivity. J Clin Psychiatry. Aug;74(8):786-92. doi: 10.4088/JCP.12m08083.

6. Killingsworth, Matthew A. and Gilbert, Daniel T. (2010). A Wandering Mind is an Unhappy Mind. Science 12 Nov. Vol. 330 no. 6006 p. 932.

7. Freeman, Elizabeth. “Meditation Improves Emotional Behaviors in Teachers, Study Finds.” University of California San Francisco. UCSF, 28 Mar. 2012.

How to Breathe Like a Baby

How to Breathe Like a Baby 1200 800 Nate Guadagni

Breathing correctly is the key to better fitness, muscle strength, stamina, and athletic endurance.

— Dr. Michael Yessis, President, Sports Training Institute

Have you ever watched a baby while he or she is asleep? They sleep so soundly and seem so totally relaxed, most adults can’t help but envy them a bit. As they sleep, the whole abdomen and chest rises and falls with each breath.

Really, that’s how we all should be breathing — deeply into our abdomen. Unfortunately, the stresses and tensions of life cause most of us to breathe much more shallowly, often only using a fraction of our lung capacity. This leaves us in a state of perpetual oxygen deprivation. We breathe enough to live, but not really enough to thrive as we could.

Scientists agree that oxygen plays a primary role in our overall health and well-being. Dr. Otto Warburg, president of the Institute of Cell Physiology and the only person to ever win the Nobel Prize in medicine twice, says, “Deep breathing techniques that increase oxygen to the cells are the most important factors in living a disease-free and energetic life… Remember: where cells get enough oxygen, cancer will not, cannot occur.” In his book Antioxidant Adaptation, biochemist Stephen Levine writes: “Oxygen plays a pivotal role in the proper functioning of the immune system. We can look at oxygen deficiency as the single greatest cause of all diseases.”

Oxygen is the most important nutrient to the cells in your body, and it plays an integral role in almost every body function. It is responsible for producing up to 90 percent of your body’s energy, and it makes up approximately 96 percent of your body’s nutritional needs. You can live without food for forty days, without water for about seven days, but without oxygen you will die in just a few minutes.

Although water makes up 65 to 75 percent of the human body, oxygen makes up 90 percent of the water molecule. Our brains, the most oxygen-hungry part of our bodies, make up two percent of our total mass, yet requires 20 percent of the body’s oxygen needs.

In our bodies, 80 percent of all our metabolic energy production is created by oxygen. Our metabolic processes work to rid our bodies of waste and toxins. Even our abilities to think, feel, and act require oxygen-related energy production. Oxygen also plays a vital role in metabolic functions such as blood circulation, digestion, the absorption of nutrients and the elimination of wastes. Sufficient oxygen helps the body in its ability to rebuild itself and maintain a strong and healthy immune system.

During exercise oxygen is moved through the body by two of the vital organs — the heart and the lungs. The lungs bring oxygen into the body, which provides energy and removes carbon dioxide, while the heart pumps the oxygen to the muscles that are doing the exercise.

Traditional Asian medical practitioners understood this long before it was understood by Western scientists. The Chinese character chi, which is commonly understood to mean “energy,” more literally means “breath.” The greatest benefits of chi gong, tai chi, and other energy cultivation methods comes through the focused breathing exercises that combine the power of the mind with the power of the breath. In Bo Yoga, breath, combined with stretching and movement, acts like a pump that circulates the energy through the body.

Bo Yoga facilitates proper breathing in three major ways. First, the physical structures responsible for breathing are all enhanced through regular practice. The lungs, diaphragm, and intercostal muscles are all stretched and strengthened through Bo Yoga, which develops a larger and more stable lung capacity to bring more oxygen in and to move more carbon dioxide out.

Proper breathing is also dependent on proper posture. As you are reading this, check your posture for a moment, especially your spinal position. As you notice your posture, do you naturally straighten your spine and inhale? If you are like most people, your posture is mildly suffocating you and restricting the flow of oxygen to your body, brain, and to all of your cells. Bo Yoga helps alleviate skeletal problems caused by poor posture by opening joints and realigning the spine, which in turn allows for better, more complete breaths.

Also, the dynamic nature of the Bo Yoga class cultivates better breathing habits. The moderately strenuous, fast-paced warm-ups increase your heart rate and stimulate your muscles, which in turn increase your breathing rate and move oxygen rich blood to your whole body. The deep stretches and relaxation at the end of classes allow the heart and lungs to relax and fully absorb the oxygen into the cells.

Finally, the Bo Yoga class is filled with conscious reminders to breathe deeply and to be aware of your breath, which brings mindfulness and self-modification to your breathing patterns. You will develop better breathing habits naturally as you practice Bo Yoga, but to begin, try improving your breathing capacity through exercises that open your chest and lengthen your spine. Work on increasing your oxygen circulation to all the cells of your body through moderate exercise, stretching, and movement. Give your heart and lungs a break by learning how to slow down your nervous system with meditation and relaxation. You will learn more about this in chapter 7 of Bo Yoga : Taking Yoga Further, which is about stress relief.

Breathing is a critical element in all meditation and mindfulness practices because the breath is one of the few vital functions of the body that can be managed consciously. Unlike your heartbeat, your digestion, and other vital functions, your breath can be improved and developed immediately. Simply taking deeper breaths will instantaneously improve your blood pressure, heart rate, and nervous system. There is no question that lack of oxygen due to improper breathing is one of the most important problems to address when seeking to improve your energy and health.

Finally, breathing is critical for the expansion of your awareness of self as an energy being. Ilchi Lee, founder of Dahn Yoga and author of Change: Realizing Your Greatest Potential, writes: “If you close your eyes and begin to feel your breath, it will instantly become deeper and slower, and your mind will become calmer. Then gradually you’ll become aware of your body, or more precisely the subtle sense of energy inside and around your body. At that moment, you exist as Energy-Consciousness, not as names, jobs, duties, roles, desires, and so on.”

In other words, as you breathe in, you breathe in the energy of the universe and become one with the entire universe. As you breathe out, you return what you don’t need, and you ready yourself for the next breath. In this way, you become one with the constant ebb and flow that is high and low tide, night and day, waking and sleeping… the give and take that is the cycle of life itself.

How to turn New Year’s Resolutions into a lifestyle.

How to turn New Year’s Resolutions into a lifestyle. 500 333 Nate Guadagni

Have you wondered what the most popular resolutions are for 2017?

Top 10 New Years resolutions for 2017

Source: Statistic Brain / Survey : 1,129 paticipants
1. Lose Weight / Healthier Eating 21.4%
2. Life / Self Improvements 12.3%
3. Better Financial Decisions 8.5%
4. Quit Smoking 7.1%
5. Do more exciting things 6.3%
6. Spend More Time with Family / Close Friends 6.2%
7. Work out more often 5.5%
8. Learn something new on my own 5.3%
9. Do more good deeds for others 5.2%
10. Find the love of my life 4.3
11. Find a better job 4.1%
Other 13.8%

How many people do you think successfully achieve their NYR’s by the end of the year?

The statistics are shocking; only 16.3% of people over 50 achieve their New Year’s resolution each year.

Yet, before you throw your New Year’s resolutions out as a lost cause, consider this; people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions

So what makes it so hard to change?  It seems that setting a resolution once at the beginning of the year and expecting it to stick through the rest, is simply not a good strategy.

Rather than a one-time resolution, to create lasting change, we need a revolving system, one that we return to frequently to set, re-set and schedule our goals.

That is why I created the WHEEL template (Weekly Habit Exchange Exercise List) and use it myself to keep creating a Lifestyle Revolution, not just a New Year Resolution.

A Lifestyle Revolution is a constant process of choosing what kind of life is desired each week.


Here is a template hat you can use to create your own Lifestyle Revolution.

Weekly Habit Exchange Exercise List Example


How to use the WHEEL Template:

  1. Fill out the 3 ESSENTIAL AREAS of your life that you want to create changes in this week. (Example : 1. Health 2. Finances 3. Relationships)
  2. Write down 3 things in the (+) column for each Essential Area that you want to ADD to your week (actions, decisions, etc)
  3. Write down 3 things in the (-) column for each Essential Area that you want to REMOVE or REDUCE from your week.
  4. Fill out the dates for the Month and the Days of this week.
  5. Schedule the things that are actionable into your weekly calendar.   (If things aren’t actionable like “less complaining” simply set an intention for a situation where this action might come up and choose to complain less.)
  6. Choose an Affirmation that you will repeat to yourself each day.

Affirmations are like seeds, they are small, but if you nourish them, they can grow powerful and fruitful.

Aim to repeat your affirmation 1,000 or more times per day.  The more you experience joy and excitement as you connect to your chosen reality, the faster it will come to be.

Please enjoy and share with someone you love.



50,000 Thoughts Per Day

50,000 Thoughts Per Day 1000 562 Nate Guadagni

Some say, “you are what you eat.” and others say “the shoes make the man.”

Although there may be some truth in these statements, upon deeper reflection I would say “you are what you think,” – or as Rene’ would say : “I think, therefore I am.”

The National Science Foundation reports that we have between 30,000 to 50,000 thoughts per day, about twenty million thoughts per year. As shockingly high as this may seem, it’s not surprising given the fact that our minds almost never stop thinking. Even more amazingly, we repeat 95 percent of the same thoughts we had the day before!

If our thoughts are practically the same day to day, it is likely that our attitude on most subjects has become ingrained, etched into the wiring of our brains. So, attitude is the way we typically think about what we encounter in the world: People with negative attitudes have minds dominated by negative thoughts, and people with positive attitudes have minds dominated by positive thoughts.

An attitude is nothing more than an evaluation of a subject or object that ranges from extremely negative to extremely positive. Although our attitude is divided into negative and positive polarities, the world actually isn’t divided into negative and positive things. When it rains, the sunglass salesman is unhappy while the raincoat saleswoman is overjoyed. When it snows, the skier is happy and the trucker is annoyed. Circumstances do not determine our negative or positive attitude because there are no inherently negative or positive circumstances.

So, who then decides your attitude? You do! We perceive things as negative or positive only because of our own interpretation, and realizing this is a huge step toward being able to create a more beneficial attitude. Prominent psychologist Gordon Allport describes attitude as “the most distinctive and indispensable concept in contemporary social psychology.” Learning to create a new habit — the habit of positive attitude — is critical to changing ourselves for a better life.

Your thoughts are mainly structured in words that comprise your inner voice and self-talk. It’s the voice that is reading this book to you in your head right now. It’s also the voice that may pipe up right before you have a speech to say either “you can do this, and it will be fun” or “you’re going to mess this up, and everyone will think you’re an idiot.” This is the voice that is talking to you non-stop, 50,000 thoughts a day, 20 million times per year, with almost nothing new to say. If you want to develop the resilient, can-do attitude you need to succeed, you need to train this inner voice to support you unconditionally.

Marci Shimoff, bestselling author of Happy for No Reason, says, “Research shows 80 percent of our thoughts are weighted toward the negative.” This means that if we have 50,000 thoughts a day, 40,000 are leaning negative. It may not seem like negative thoughts can do any real harm since they are just thoughts, but this is not the case. They have serious impact on our physical and mental health. Researchers have linked negative attitudes to addictions, psychosomatic disorders, anxiety, depression, and a host of other mental and physical problems.

Shimoff states that a positive attitude “is a specific, measurable physiological state characterized by distinct brain activity, heart rhythms, and body chemistry. People who are happy for no reason tend to have greater activity in the left prefrontal cortex, orderly heart wave patterns, and specific neurotransmitters associated with well-being such as serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins.” The Mayo Clinic adds that “positive thinking can result in longer life, elevated moods, lowered stress, a boosted immune system, a stronger sense of wellbeing, and better coping skills during stressful events.”

The Mayo Clinic categorizes negative thinking in four categories: filtering, personalizing, catastrophizing, and polarizing. Understanding these types of negative thinking can help you recognize, and possibly change, how they play out in any negative attitudes that are affecting your life. Here is an explanation of each one:

Filtering means that you filter out the positive parts of a situation and focus only on the negative parts. For instance, after working on a long project, you might reject all of the compliments that you received and only remember the criticism.

Personalizing is the tendency to automatically blame yourself when something bad happens. For example, if an evening with friends is cancelled, you might assume that it’s because nobody wants to be around you.

Catastrophizing is expecting the worst possible outcome to any situation. For example, if your spouse doesn’t come home on time, you might think that he or she is cheating on you or has crashed the car.

Polarizing is a type of black and white thinking that equates anything less than perfection with failure. For instance, if you were to say something awkward at a party, you might feel the whole night is ruined.

Do you recognize any of these mental habits in your own attitudes? More than likely, if you are honest with yourself, you will recognize that you have fallen into these psychological traps at some time or another, if not often. Don’t feel bad about that; every person on the planet, me included, has at one time or another. You might even call these tendencies “human nature.” The important thing is to be able to see yourself clearly enough to realize when you are using them. Then, you will have taken the first major leap toward changing them.

The good news is that it’s just as easy to think positively as it is to think negatively. Look back at the four categories to negative thinking, and simply reverse them to apply them to positive thinking. Instead of filtering for the negative parts of a situation, try to sift through and highlight the positive parts of it. While everyone is griping about the bad acting in the movie, you can point out something that you appreciated, such as the great music or the beautiful cinematography. Instead of personalizing a situation and blaming yourself, de-personalize the situation and let go of it: “They didn’t cancel the dinner because I was going. I’m sure something else must have come up.” Instead of catastrophizing things, zoom back and put them in a larger perspective. “I may have lost a client, but I haven’t lost my job.” And instead of polarizing things into good and bad categories, see things in shades of grey. “I didn’t win the game, but there are lots of things that I learned, and I had some fun, too.”

People often reject positive thinking as unrealistic or as a way of living in denial, yet it’s important to remember that nothing is inherently good or bad. It’s only good or bad depending on the investment and relationship to the people involved. Reframing things from negatives to positives also doesn’t require any bending of the truth; it is just as accurate to point out a positive feature as a negative one. The main difference between negative and positive thinking is the effect they have on our attitude, our energy levels, and eventually our health.

The most powerful way to improve your attitude is to practice appreciation. Appreciation shines light on any subject to reveal hidden positives, and it instantly begins to improve your

mood and puts things into perspective. And best of all, appreciation costs nothing and requires virtually no effort to implement. Nothing in your life needs to change for you to change how much you appreciate the things that are already in your life.

This ability to choose our attitude is the essence of Bo Yoga Philosophy. Here is a picture that I have framed in my room to remind me to choose a positive attitude no matter what happens to me.

Philosophy of a Bo Yoga Practitioner

Every irritation: a lesson in patience

Every setback: a lesson in persistence

Every fear: a lesson in courage

Every hatred: a lesson in love

Every judgment: a lesson in acceptance

Every failure: a lesson in excellence

Every injury: a lesson in awareness

Every loss: a lesson in self-reliance

Every insult: a lesson in confidence

Every pain: a lesson in pleasure

Every sickness: a lesson in health

Every death: a lesson in life

Every person: a lesson in self

For your own PDF download to print, save or share, click here: Philosophy of a Bo Yoga Practitioner

8 Breathing Meditations Bring Inner Peace in 10 Minutes

8 Breathing Meditations Bring Inner Peace in 10 Minutes 900 600 Charlize Lawrence

Remember to breathe. It is after all, the secret of life. – Gregory Maguire, A Lion Among Men

Breathing is something we do almost every second of every day and we give it very little thought. You probably think you are an expert at breathing, having done it for so many years now. I know I did. But look down as you breathe. Do you breathe into your chest, abdomen or both? Are you breathing deeply or are most of your breaths just deep enough to get oxygen without too much trouble? Does walking, climbing stairs, or other mild activities cause you to be out of breath? Does any of it matter since you haven’t keeled over yet?

Experts say that deep breathing that increases oxygen to the cells is a factor in a properly functioning immune system and living a disease-free and energetic life with 90 percent of your body’s energy and approximately 96 percent of your body’s nutritional needs being met by oxygen.

Breathing is the first thing we learn to do when we are born. As a baby we naturally inhale deeply, allowing our whole abdomen and chest to rise and fall. Through the stress and tension of life, most of us forget how to properly breathe, only drawing in shallow breaths that allow us to live but not to thrive. This leaves us in a perpetual state of oxygen deprivation

Here are 8 Breathing Exercises to deepen your breathing and promote healthier cells in just 10 minutes:

#1 – The 6:3:6 Breath

  • Slowly and steadily breathe in through your nose as you slowly count to 6. Hold your breath for a 3-count. Steadily exhale through your mouth as you slowly count to 6. Repeat. If you cannot make it to a 6-count, start at a smaller number and work your way up.

#2 – Breathing Meditation

  • Focus on your breathing during meditation. This will help you to better gauge how deep your breathing is and will assist in quieting the mind. Feel where the breath is coming into your body, is it your nose or your mouth? Is the air coming to one nostril more than the other?

#3 – Mantra Meditation

  • Choose a chant or mantra to say slowly, out loud or silently in your mind, as you deeply inhale through your nose. Repeat the chant as you exhale through your mouth. “Om Mani Padmi Hum” is one of my favorite breathing chants as well as a Tibetan Buddhist blessing of compassion. Here are some maxims that may also work as positive chants –

#4 – Sighing Breath

  • Place one hand on your chest and one hand on your abdomen. Breathe in through the nose ensuring that the abdomen inflates with enough air to stretch the lungs. Exhale through your mouth with an audible sigh. You will feel an emotional release as your stress evaporates into thin air.

#5 – Morning Breath

  • Take a long and slow inhale through the nose and then exhale quickly and powerfully through the mouth. This is an excellent breathing technique for when you first awaken in the morning. Remember: If you have a bedmate, for heaven’s sake, please brush your teeth first.

#6 – Breath of Fire

  • Inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose. Keep your mouth closed and relaxed. Focus on the exhale and let the inhale take care of itself. Take a break every 15 seconds so (or if the room starts spinning!), longer if you’ve been practicing. You will find that this exercise is noisy and you may want to blow your nose first! Bonus points if you do it while standing in line at the grocery store or bank.

#7 – 4-7-8 Breath

  • 4-7-8 breathing consists of placing the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth right behind your front teeth. All exhaling will be through your mouth around your tongue.
    • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
    • Close your mouth (but leave your tongue in place) and inhale quietly through your nose for a count of 4.
    • Hold your breath for a count of 7.
    • Exhale completely through your mouth making a whoosh sound for a count of 8.

#8 – Candle Breath

  • Breathe in through your nose for 2 seconds. Pucker your lips like you might blow out a candle and breathe out very slowly through your mouth. Your exhale should be 2 or 3 times longer than your inhale. For a challenge, see how far away you can make a candle flicker. Pro challenge, try to make a lightbulb flicker.

Once you feel more comfortable with deep breathing, some of these techniques can be done while you walk or do exercises, such as yoga. What an excellent, and free, way to boost your immune system!

Please post a comment about your experience. Got a grumpy friend who needs some stress relief? Why not share this post!

Woman’s Head Explodes! Doctors Say Stress a Major Factor.

Woman’s Head Explodes! Doctors Say Stress a Major Factor. 1430 575 Charlize Lawrence

Okay, so my head didn’t literally explode but only because the steam coming out of my ears alleviated the pressure. I am an expert at reacting badly to stress so I set out on a quest to understand stress and find my inner Zen.
The first thing I learned was that I am not alone. The World Health Organization has called stress the “health epidemic of the 21st century.” Stress is a sobering health risk and one that we are only recently beginning to understand. Like all health risks, the more I know about it, the better I can cope with it.
The second thing I learned is that a stress response is controlled by dual parts of the nervous system – the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The sympathetic set of nerves creates the stress “fight/flight/freeze” response. The parasympathetic set of nerves causes the relaxation “rest/digest” response. The important thing to know is that only one set of nerves can be active at one time. It is not possible to be in both states at once.
I made a list of all things that stress me out in my life: work, co-workers, boss, HR, what to eat for lunch (okay I might be a little neurotic), my family, and my son. When I listed my son that was when I realized that I was putting the blame on everything around me but realistically am I ever going to be able to live a life completely free of stress? No, it’s impossible.
That led me to the question, is it really the situation causing me stress or is it my resistance to the situation? Consider the scenario of two co-workers, Tina and Zach. Tina lives for deadlines and thrives under the pressure of monthly quotas. Zach likes to take his time and go over every detail. Monthly deadlines make him feel overwhelmed and he often gets sick at the end of the month. Both Tina and Zach work under the same conditions but their resistance to the situation differs greatly. While there are countless stressors, there is basically only one stress response articulated by REI’s clever motto: “There is no bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.” There is no bad stress, just inappropriate coping.
The third thing I learned is that not all stress is negative. Benefits include things such as motivation to get things done and excitement. However, striking balance between stress and relaxation in our lives is paramount. The ideal balance is called “relaxed focus” and is attainable with practice and awareness.
Here are some ways to cope with stressed, gain relaxed focus, and find that inner Zen that I love!
• Exercise that involves mind-body training, such as Yoga. At the beginning of every yoga class, I close my eyes and I concentrate on my breathing. Once I feel that calm, I allow my mind to probe my body to determine where I’m tense or in pain. I consciously relax where I am tense and send love to anywhere in pain. During the yoga practice (, I attempt to keep my focus inward and to listen to what my body is telling me. The results are an amazing release of any stress I was feeling.
• Meditation that involves movement. Many of us envision sitting lotus style with eyes closed and palms up. However, when we are stressed it sometimes seems impossible to not follow every thought in our head. Meditation can also be done while in motion. The movement during meditation is usually a free flowing and fluid motion without thought. Let the calmness you feel flow out to your limbs and just move.
• Surround yourself with the positive. Sometimes we spend time in an environment, such as work or school, where everything takes on a negativity. Remove yourself from the negative and surround yourself with people and ideas that contribute positively to your world. I consider facebook a very positive space for me because I am careful to only friend those that have a positive message to share. That doesn’t mean that they don’t have issues that they share with their friends but their outlook and the way they treat others and the planet is with a very positive mindset. When I am at work and stressed, I will take a brief break and check out the posts on my facebook (I do this on my phone as I’m not sure it is appropriate to use work resources for this activity). Usually the positive messages I see from my friends helps me to quickly shake off the stress and put events into perspective. Another quick way to gain positivity is through laughter!
And finally, I learned that life isn’t that serious unless we make it that way so now I’m off to find my sense of humor!