The words “dog breath” don’t sound like the key to a major immune system boost.
But that happens to be the informal name of a certain pranayama, or breathing exercise, that mimics the way our canine friends pant with their tongues hanging out (minus the foul smell). The practice can actually amp up energy levels and immunity (even if it might look a little silly) by helping to bring oxygen to the nerves and clearing the mind. This creates harmony in the body to relieve stress in the nervous system.
Watch the video to learn how to do it!
Step 1: Sit in a comfortable upright position with your neck slightly back, your chin tucked in, and your chest out.
Step 2: Stick your tongue out all the way.
Step 3: Begin panting like a dog, pulling your navel into your spine with every exhale. Continue for several minutes. A tingling feeling in your toes, thighs, and lower back is a sign that the pranayama is working.
Step 4: To finish, breathe in and hold your breath for 15 seconds while pressing the tongue to the roof of the mouth. (This helps connect the cycle of energy into your pituitary and pineal glands, bringing balance to your hormones and sleep cycles—both vital to your immunity.)
Step 5: Exhale and repeat Step 4 two more times.
Try it with a friend and see who can do it the longest without laughing. Even if you can’t hold it together, it’s OK—laughter is the best medicine!