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Breathing Exercises to Relax and Calm 

Please be aware: IF you have ANY form of breathing difficulty, all exercises involving conscious breathing should only be carried out under supervision.

All of these exercises could be done more easily with a partner to read the exercises out slowly to allow you to follow them.

Then you could take your turn to do the reading for them.

Simple Breathing Exercises 1: Full Breath Breathing

​​This is the basic breathing exercise (see Jack Angelo - The Self-Healing Handbook, Piatkus, 2010 for more information and exercises. He says:" Full-breath breathing rebalances the whole system, realigns all aspects of your being and encourages the flow of healing energies.It is an essential self-healing activity to improve breathing capacity and rhythm and benefit your entire physical system").

  • Remove your shoes. Sit comfortably in a chair, with your feet flat on the floor and your back straight. Lift your head gently to align it with your back and allow your hands to rest in your lap or on your thighs.

  • Become aware of your breathing and allow it to become slow, deep and gentle. Notice what your chest and tummy are doing. Just breathe in your normal way and notice which part of your body is moving the most. You might notice your chest moves but your tummy doesn't move much. In full-breath breathing the abdomen is the focus.

  • Put your hands on your abdomen and imagine it is a balloon you are going to fill up with your breath and then empty.

  • As you slowly breathe in through your nose allow your 'balloon' to fill by letting your abdomen gently expand, but don't strain to do it.

  • Slowly breathe out and feel your abdominal 'balloon' deflate, without straining.

  • Practise the whole exercise twice more, noticing the difference between the in-breath and the out-breath, and how it makes you feel as you breathe like this. Breathing and posture affect your mood.

  • Full-breath breathing is also known as 'soft-belly' breathing because it encourages relaxation of your abdomen, and discourages the tense, hard-belly approach to body posture. The soft-belly posture allows you to breathe deeply and gently so that you are calm and balanced, with your centre of gravity below your navel.

2: Grounding Your Energies - Breathing in the Energy of Planet Earth

  • Remove your shoes. Sit comfortably in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Let your hands rest gently in your lap or on your thighs.

  • Take a few moments to become aware of your breathing. Just breathe naturally for a minute or so.

  • Take your awareness down to your feet and then to the soles of your feet, and just breathe gently for a while. You may become aware that the soles of your feet are gently tingling. Enjoy the feeling of your feet contacting the ground.

  • Then imagine (see or feel) that you have roots growing down from the soles of your feet into the earth. Make these roots go down deep as far as you can; imagine them going down past rocks, soil, underground streams and the roots of plants and trees.

  • Then spread your roots out as far and wide as you can, really rooting yourself into the earth like a tree.

  • Next, become aware of your breathing again and, as you breathe in, imagine, sense, or just know that the energies of the earth are travelling up your roots, up through the soles of your feet. Keep breathing in this earth energy, visualising it as a deep red colour, drawing it up your legs and spreading it out into the whole of your body including your head and arms. Keep breathing in this way until you feel fully re-energised.

  • This exercise reconnects you to the energies of the earth. Do this whenever you feel stressed, off-balance, or if you need to calm and ground yourself before doing any self-healing balancing exercise.

3: Candle Flame Breath Exercise  (from The Food and Mood Handbook, 2001, by Amanda Geary)

  • Remove your shoes. Sit comfortably in a chair, with your feet flat on the floor. Notice your breathing for a minute or so.

  • Imagine there is a lighted candle a few centimetres in front of you. Take a deep breath and close your eyes.

  • Put your lips together as if you were going to blow out the candle, BUT breathe out very, very slowly. Imagine the candle flame flickering ever so slightly. YOU DON'T WANT TO BLOW THE CANDLE OUT!

  • Keep on gently breathing out through your lips for as long as you can. Make it a really long out-breath.

  • Repeat as many times as you need, until you feel calm again.


4: The Walking Breath (from Jack Angelo'sThe Self-Healing Handbook)

This exercise is best done outdoors in a quiet place, but you can practise indoors first.

  • Find a comfortable relaxed pace that suits you, and get used to walking at that pace for a while. Notice the way you are breathing.

  • Try walking at different speeds and in different ways. What happens to your breathing?

  • Next, walk in a comfortable, relaxed way and start to breathe rhythmically: inhale to a count of 4, hold for a count of 2, exhale for a count of 6 and hold for a count of 2. Inhale again for a count of 4, etc....

  • Next, try inhaling for a count of 4, hold for a count of 2, exhale for a count of 8, hold for a count of 2, etc. Check your breathing rhythm and your walking rhythm are in harmony with each other.

  • Carry on walking and breathing in harmony in a rhythm that feels comfortable for you. Once your breathing and walking rhythms are in harmony you can forget them and become aware of your surroundings. You may find you notice things that you have never noticed before..


5: The Healing Breath (from Jack Angelo'sThe Self-Healing Handbook)

The Healing Breath reveals evidence of the life force within the breath. The life force makes it possible to breathe in healing energies during any form of traditional or complementary therapy. This intention enhances the effectiveness of those forms of healing. The Healing Breath prepares the energy field to receive healing energies. You can use it to help yourself heal through relaxation; you can work with a partner to talk each other through it or your healer can talk you through the exercise at the beginning of a healing treatment for you.

  • Either remove your shoes and  sit comfortably in a chair, with your feet flat on the floor, or you could do this lying down.

  • Close your eyes, make yourself comfortable, relax and breathe normally. Start to focus on your breathing. Breathe in through the nose. Breathe out through the nose.

  • Feel your whole body moving with your breathing. Become really aware of your breath entering and leaving your body. Feel your chest and abdomen rising and falling as you breathe.

  • As you breathe in and out, easily and gently, realise that this breath comes from a place where everything is safe, welcoming and loving.

  • As you inhale, imagine you are taking in all the healing energy you need. as you breathe out, your body is letting go, releasing any stored energy you no longer need.. Breathe in to nourish and heal yourself. Breathe out to let go of any mental, emotional and physical problems.

  • Feel yourself continually relaxing with every out-breath. Open yourself to the welcoming and loving space between each breath.

  • There is nothing else to do now but but breathing and being; resting and receiving. There is nothing else to think about. Allow yourself to enjoy this realisation.

  • With each in-breath your body will continue to take in all the healing energy it needs and re3lease what it no longer needs on the out-breath. Remain a while in this healing state.

  • You will feel deeply relaxed and calm, so take some time to allow yourself to come back to everyday consciousness. 


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