Breathing Exercises for When You Just Can't Even


Need something to help you chill out?  No one wants to be the girl who freaks out when the subway is down or when someone cuts the line during the Sephora lunch-hour rush.  Here are some breathing exercises from NYC Yoga Instructor, Barbara Wolf, that'll help you find your zen no matter what the situation.  

So you have to actively make an effort to improve your first, impulsive instincts, and work to get to that second, higher nature.

First thing you should know, is that despite their hippy-dippy reputation, relaxation exercises aren't BS. With practice, it’s pretty easy to get into the habit of these rituals that are proven to instantly put things in perspective. 


When you encounter someone who's stressed:

One of Wolf’s most effective techniques is borrowed from the Buddhists. It’s called Tonglen, and here’s what you do: “As soon as you become aware of the stress of another person, pause. Consider what they are experiencing and take a few moments to breathe in their suffering and breathe out your good intentions.” You’re essentially processing how the person you’re in contact with feels through inhaling, and coming to a common, peaceful understanding with every exhale. 

To calm your stressed self:

Barbara’s best advice for calming yourself down in that long Sephora line or during that unhelpful call with a Comcast representative? “Breathe, breathe, breathe. Find a pattern that works for you, such as 3 counts on the inhale, pause for 2, then 4 counts on the exhale. Let your breath bring you into a space of being that is moment to moment and you will find that you don’t really mind where you are.”