Feel more stressed than blessed as the weekend approaches?

Give this simple breathing exercise a go at your desk, in the car, in bed – anywhere. 

Slowing the breath to around six breaths a minute using exercises like this has multiple benefits for the body.
We turn off our sympathetic nervous system and activate our parasympathetic nervous system with positive psychological results.
Noone will notice externally but the internal effect on your body will soothing to the central nervous system, slowing the heart rate and helping clear stress hormones from the bloodstream.
We already have all the tools we need to find calm, let me help you reclaim them.
Sit tall to make valuable space for your breathing apparatus. Soften at the shoulders and loosen any areas of the body that feel rigid.
Closing the eyes is helpful to lose the distraction of our major sense but not essential. Begin to look within.
Seal the lips. Breathe in and out through the nose. Allow the belly to fill up like a balloon on the in breath and fall away on the out breath. Maybe place a hand on the abdomen to help establish this diaphragmatic breath to begin with.
Picture a rectangle. Inhale up the length of the short side and exhale down the length of the short side.
After a few rounds begin to finesse the exercise by making the breath smoother and less jagged. Find the natural pause in the breath at each corner of the rectangle.
Savour the breath and the pauses inbetween. Breathe well, be well.
Share with friends and colleagues and let us know how you feel!
By Rose Shaw
Yoga teacher, yin yoga, meditation, teacher trainer & posto9 ambassador