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Breathing to Relax
By Anastasia

In our overstressed lives, reaching for a glass of wine or a cigarette in order to do something as natural as relaxation has become a norm. Relaxation is a state of calmly being present. When you worry, you usually worry about something that had already happened or something else that's about to happen, so worry is primarily fear driven, To bring yourself back to the present moment without that glass of wine (or a shot of vodka) try this simple breathing exercise:

Sit in a comfortable position, either on the floor or on the chair. Close your eyes and give yourself a few minutes without telephone, kids, friends, relatives, etc. Gradually begin to deepen your breathing, feeling your ribcage expanding on every inhalation and gently contracting on every exhalation. Begin to count your breaths. Inhale on the count of eight and exhale on the count of eight. Do this for eight rounds of breathing through the nose. Make sure your shoulders are pointed back and your spine is completely straight.

Now, continue doing the same exercise on the count of twelve, if this is possible for you today. Continue for four more rounds. Then just sit quietly and observe the changes in your body and your mind. Resist the urge to fidget. For more relaxation techniques, try the new Relaxation Techniques CD, available on YogaPulse.net, in the products section. It makes a great gift for your stressed-out friends!