If you’re feeling exhausted or stressed, or if you’re a health optimizer, I have a little breathing exercise you can do anytime, anywhere. Yogis will recognize it’s similarity to Pranayama, but we don’t need to name names.

Do this while you’re working; when your kids have you at your limit; when you feel your blood pressure rising; when you go for a walk; or just have a daily practice and do it as part of a meditation. Eventually you can try to breathe like this all the time!

The benefits include: * reduced blood pressure * improved circulation to the digestive tract * stimulation of the autonomic nervous system * stress reduction

Breathe in for a count of 6. Feel your lower abdomen expand in all 6 directions: 1. the space between your anus and genitals goes downward 2. pubic bone and naval move forward 3. lower lumbar and sacrum press backward 4. and 5. hips and lower ribs expand out and 6. top of diaphragm (stomach area) expands up.

Don’t worry too much about expanding just right or focusing too hard on the directions. Just feel overall expansion in your lower body as you breathe slowly. Then slowly exhale for a count of 6. Gradually, you can increase this to a count of 30. As you exhale, you feel the expanded areas relax and naturally contract. Repeat as many times as you like.