Good Morning Families, today is Friday March 27th 2020 and it is now time for our morning moment of SEL.
How are you feeling?
Let’s take a nice deep breath. Hey, it’s Friday! And after this long and arduous week locked in my house, I’m ready for a weekend, locked in my house. Maybe, as I read both the sarcasm and privilege in that last sentence, it’s time for me to use some mindfulness.
So, for today, and this weekend, and maybe twice a day every day if you can, let’s try some 4 – 7 – 8 breathing. I know of 4 – 7 – 8 from the Mushroom Man himself, Dr. Andrew Weill, you can check him out here https://www.drweil.com/ I believe this breathing exercise is based on an older Pranayama practice, so if you know what it is, please email me. Oh, and for these breaths our exhale will come out through the mouth.
Here’s what Dr. Weill says about how to do this breathing:
Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.
1. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
2. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
3. Hold your breath for a count of seven.
4. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight. This is one breath.
5. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
Note that you always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth. The tip of your tongue stays in position the whole time. Exhalation takes twice as long as inhalation. The absolute time you spend on each phase is not important; the ratio of 4:7:8 is important. If you have trouble holding your breath, speed the exercise up but keep to the ratio of 4:7:8 for the three phases. With practice you can slow it all down and get used to inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply.
I typically use this breathing pattern when I am having recognizing I am experiencing anxiety. It really works for de-escalating my mind and my body. I also use this breath when I am having trouble sleeping. It makes me sleepy. I like that. I hope you like it too. I also wish you the very best and look forward to connecting in whatever way we can, on Monday.
Until Monday, best wishes,