Samavritti Breathing Technique

Equal breathing (or samavritti) is a quick and easy way to reduce stress and anxiety. Samavritti balances out your inhalations and exhalations to help create equanimity of mind and energy. This beginner technique is based on consciously taking deep, regular breaths to calm the body as well as focus the mind. Once you begin to relax, stress hormones are naturally reduced.

Begin by sitting in a chair or on the floor in a cross-legged position. It may help to sit on a meditation cushion, pillow, or folded blanket for comfort. Close your eyes and allow yourself to become aware of your breathing for a few breaths. When you are ready, begin with an inhale and slowly count to four, pause, then count to four again as you exhale.

Pause between breaths and repeat until you feel relaxed. The goal is to equalize your breathing with your inhales and exhales. As your comfort level increases, you can extend the length of each breath as long as the inhales and exhales are held for the same amount of time. After several rounds, sit and observe how your mind-body connection has changed.

Proceed with caution, if you are pregnant or have heart concerns. If you have high blood pressure, lung, heart, eye or ear problems, it's not advised to hold your breath after the inhale. If you have low blood pressure, it is recommended to not hold the breath after the exhale. As always, listen to your body.