Herbert Benson in 1975 described the physiological state, known as “Deep relaxation”.
Deep relaxation is a state in which our body responds exactly opposite when it experiences stress, it is marked by a drop in blood pressure, heart rate, respiration rate, etc.
Sitting in front of TV and watching favourite shows or sleeping is one kind of relaxation but deep relaxation is something else, it is about calming down the mind and body both. There are many exercises for practicing deep relaxation. One of which, is breath control or calming the breath.
This breathe exercise can be done anywhere, whether in the office, home, bus, train or aeroplane. Whether you are sitting on a chair or the floor.
- First, sit on the floor or chair, whatever you are comfortable with, if you are sitting on the floor better to sit in lotus position, if on chair then keep your feet on the floor.
- Close your eyes, let your body be in a relaxation mode, let the stress in the muscles go away.
- Visualize yourself sitting in a beautiful place, for example in a mountainous place, in front of a stream, the Sun is rising behind the mountains, there are flowers of different colors around you.
- Breathe through abdomen. Inhale through the nose, while inhaling, count upto 6 in your mind. You can either count like this or inhale for 3 to 4 seconds. But be very slow while inhaling. Do not inhale very fast.
- Hold the breathe and either count upto 6 or hold the breath for 3/4 seconds.
- Exhale slowly while counting upto 6 or 3/4 seconds.
- Always keep in mind, the time you take to inhale must be equal to the time for which you hold your breathe and exhale. For example if you inhale for 3 seconds, then hold your breathe for 3 seconds and exhale for 3 seconds.
- Repeat the same cycle of inhaling – holding – exhaling your breathe for 9 times. After every 3 cycle take one normal breathe.
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