Breathing exercise after a busy day.
When performing this breathing exercise, the exhale gradually lengthens until it is twice as long as the inspiration. This type of breathing relaxes the nervous system.
When? Before going to bed, to sleep better, in the middle of the night, if you suffer from insomnia, at any time of the day, to reduce stress or anxiety. (It’s better not to practice this breath immediately after waking up - unless you suffer from severe anxiety. Because of the relaxing effect of this practice, it will be more difficult to get up and get down to business.)
How to do? Lie on the floor, knees bent, feet on the floor the width of the pelvis. Place your palm on your stomach and take a few relaxed breaths. Feel your stomach expand as you inhale and gently pull yourself up as you exhale. Keeping your palm on your stomach, mentally count for several breaths how long each breath in and out. If the breath is longer than the exhale, you can begin to align them in length over the next few breaths.
When your inhalation and exhalation reach the same length, begin to gradually increase the exhalation duration by one to two seconds, gently contracting your stomach. Provided that breathing is smooth and relaxed, continue to gradually increase exhalation by one to two seconds every few breaths. Make sure that you do not feel any tension when lengthening the exhalation, and continue until the exhalation is twice as long as the inspiration, but no more.
For example, if a comfortable inhalation duration is 4 seconds for you, then do not increase the exhalation duration to more than 8 seconds. Remember that even exhaling, which is slightly longer than the inhalation, has a calming effect, so be careful not to push yourself beyond your own abilities.
If breathing makes you uncomfortable, if it is intermittent or you are suffocating on the next breath, then move on to the ratio that is more convenient for you between inhaling and exhaling for the next 8-12 breaths. And then complete the practice with 6-8 natural, relaxed breaths.