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Ease Holiday Stress with 2:1 Breathing by Anna Mack

Cambio Senior Teacher and Extended YTT co-coordinator Anna Mack is here to to help soothe holiday stress with yogic breathing technique. Read below for easy-to-follow instructions to help you ground down, get focused, and enjoy this winter season. Eager to share your own tips? Email Austin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be featured on the Yoga Living Project, or with any feedback.




Ease Holiday Stress with 2:1 Breathing

The holiday season can be busy and stressful for many of us. Our yoga practices can be our very best friends during this time of year, but busy schedules can prevent us from getting to the studio. So how can we ground and soothe the nervous system when we don’t have time for a studio practice? 2:1 breathing! This simple breathing technique can soothe our sympathetic (fight or flight) nervous system response and make us feel calmer and more collected.

As with any new practice, be mindful of how you feel. If the counts feel too long then modify the practice by shortening the duration. An exhale that is drawn out longer than the body can handle will cause the inhale to be more of a gasp. Work on transitioning smoothly between the inhales and exhales and granting yourself some grace as you learn something new. 


How to do 2:1 breathing

Start by sitting in a stable, upright position. Begin by observing your breath and taking notice of the duration of the inhales and exhales.

Now, count the duration of your inhales and exhales without changing the way you breathe.

Begin to even out the breath by counting to three as you inhale and three as you exhale.

When you feel ready, start to lengthen the exhale. On the next inhale, make it shorter and continue at an easy pace for a few rounds of breath.

Finally, count the duration of the inhales and exhales. Move to a two count inhale and four count exhale.

Breathe this way for a few minutes. 

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