478 Breath

478 breath   Explanation and practice

Dr. Andrew Weil

relaxation breath

breathing the master key to self healing

the most powerful relaxation method that i know, 

put your tip of your  tongue in the yogic position on the roof of your mouth behind the front teeth row

and keep it there for the duration of the exercise. 

In this exercise inhale through your nose quietly and exhale through your mouth noisily 

you will be exhaling around your tongue.

it helps if you purse your lips outward

and the sound you are going to make is kind of a whoosh sound 

so just this a few times so you get comfortable around exhaling this way 

Im going to describe this exercise to you and than I will do it with you

you first going to exhale through your mouth


you than going to inhale quietly through your nose to a count of 4 hold your breath to a count of 7

and exhale through your mouth to a count of 8

so you notice exhalation is twice as long as inhalation    you are then going to repeat that for a total

of 4 breath cycles this takes very little time 

Now whats important here is this ratio between 4 7 8  for inhalation hold exhalation 

the actual amount of time that you do this for is not so important it is that ratio thats important

whats going to limit you is how long you can comfortably hold your breath.

I think you’ll find as I do with practice this over time you will be able to slow the whole thing down and hold the breath for longer but to start with is what I’m going to count with I think is a moderate rate but if this is uncomfortable for you feel free to speed it up

I will count for you

exhale through the mouth

notice that if you make your exhalation to the count of 8 you don’t want to blow it all in the first two seconds  so let the breath out slow fashion and than repeat it again 

Lets do it together

let all the air out exhale 

than inhale to …..

Now just breathe normally don’t try to influence your breath and notice how you feel

most people doing this the first time say they feel very good, relaxing , some people they find

maybe a little bit of light headedness when doing this for the first time 

the Lightheadedness will disapear as you practice this regularly but you will find as I do that there is a very pleasant altered state of consciousness.

that comes with that breath 

my experience is that when I finish it   a little bit difficult for me to come back and open my eyes

and pay attention to whats going on out side there is something very pleasant about the state and I want to stay in it.   And I can ensure you as you practice this over tim e that experience that altered state of consciousness will become more powerful and more desirable 

If  you do this regularly you will find that it gets easier and easier that you can slow it down and what I suggest you do is that after a month of doing this technique regularly meaning 4 breath cycles twice a day that is the min to do 

if you want to do it more you are welcome to do it more but at least twice a day  after you feel comfortable with this I suggest you will increase it to 8 breath cycles twice a day but never go above 8 breath cycles  

It is a very powerful technique and after you have worked with it some time I think you can than begin to use it in a variety of ways –  when you get upset – cut of in traffic,  before you react do this breathing


helps with craving – do this breath and by the time you are done the craving will have passed

and if the craving comes again, simply repeat 

I f you feel anxious,  this is the most effective anti anxiety technique that I know .