Rising and Falling Breath
Benefits: Strengthens the nervous system and calms anxiety.
How to Do It: Lie on your back with your hands resting on your abdomen. Tune in to your breath. On the inhalation, consciously expand your belly as if you were inflating a balloon. Let your breath continue rising up through your rib cage and out to the sides; you should feel the top of your lungs inflate and your collarbones rise. Begin your exhalation at the top of the lungs, so that as you release air there, your collarbones lower. As the exhalation continues-with the ribs contracting in and down-draw your abdominal muscles in and bring your belly button toward your spine. Let your exhalation be long and slow. If you are counting, try to exhale for longer than you inhale for each breath. While you breathe, keep your torso completely relaxed. Don't let the muscles in your rib cage tense or tighten as they move; simply let them expand and contract with each breath.