A gentle inhalation of a comfortable length, followed by a gentle, lengthened exhalation. Accor- ding to the work of Stephen Porges and PolyVagal Theory to elicit the relaxation response the breath ratio shall be 40 percent inhale to 60 percent exhale. During the exhalation the HEART BEAT SLOWS DOWN. The PARASYMPATHETIC branch of the autonomic nervous system is mostly active. Extending or lengthening the exhalation triggers the state of RELAXATION and regenerative functions.
Breathing is done through the nose. Breathing movements engage the diaphragm. The pattern can be performed as many times as needed.
Variation: the prolonged exhalation might be at first easier to perform through pursed lips, leng- thening the outbreath as if softly blowing out.