Relaxator Exercises

Narrow and tense airways limit our ability to live the life we want. Engaging in different physical exercises while using the Relaxator is an efficient way to dilate the airways and help the breathing muscles relax. Soon your normal breathing habits will improve so that the majority of the breaths you take each day serve you in the best possible way.

Open up your airways

The 20 exercises below aim to open your airways, get them functioning well and relax your breathing muscles. Pick a few exercises that appeal to you and put together your own 10-15-minute workout program. Add a few calm breaths between the exercises, and reflect on how it feels in your body before moving on to the next practice. You can do your exercises daily or at times that are convenient for you. Remember that the goal is to reduce stress, not increase it. If too much is going on in your life at a certain point, just skip your exercises that day.

Erect posture

Keep your back erect and straight during the exercises, as this facilitates the work of the diaphragm and deepens breathing. Breathe in a relaxed way, taking deep (not big), calm, and rhythmic breaths. Using the Relaxator will help you maintain a good breathing pattern during the different exercises.

These exercises will help you improve your general breathing pattern so that eventually you take most of your daily 20-25,000 breaths in accordance with the five principles of Conscious Breathing – nose, stomach, slow, rhythmic and quiet. If you manage to maintain an erect posture and relaxed breathing during the exercises, chances are that you’ll be able to do the same in different situations you may encounter in your everyday life.

Twenty Different Exercises

1.Get to Know Your Breathing

  • Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Follow your breaths in and out and notice where the air ends up.
  • Become aware of the different movements that occur in your body when breathing in and out.
  • The hand on your belly should move outwards when you inhale, while the hand on your chest should remain almost still.
  • When exhaling, the stomach should move inwards.
  • Continue the exercise for 2–5 minutes.

If you have problems finding a good breathing rhythm, lay down on the floor with a book on your stomach and watch the book move up when you inhale and down when you exhale.

2. Spine Flex

  • Put your hands on your knees.
  • Breathe in and flex your spine and chest forward, while your shoulders are drawn backward.
  • Breathe out and flex the spine backwards while your shoulders are drawn forward, and your arms are stretched.
  • Repeat 10 times.

This exercise is good for your lumbar region, abdominal muscles, diaphragm and general body posture.

3. Spine Bending

  • Place your hands on the shoulders, with your elbows at shoulder level.
  • Inhale and bend your head, the upper part of the body, and left elbow towards the floor.
  • Your right elbow should be pointing upwards towards the ceiling.
  • Breathe out and repeat the same action on the right.
  • Repeat five times and then switch, so that you breathe in when bending the body to the right.

This exercise is good for your lumbar region, abdominal muscles, diaphragm and general body posture.

4. Spine Twist

  • Place your hands on your shoulders, with the elbows at shoulder level.
  • Breathe in and turn the upper part of your body as far left as you can.
  • Exhale and turn to the right.
  • Let your head follow the movement passively, so that your nose is kept in line with your sternum.
  • Repeat five times and then switch so that your inhalation occurs while twisting your body to the right.

This movement is good for your spine, scapula, chest, abdominal muscles, and your diaphragm.

5. Ear Against Shoulder

  • Keep your posture erect and your nose pointing forward.
  • As you breathe in lean your head against your left shoulder.
  • Breathe out as you lean your head against your right shoulder.
  • Repeat five times and then switch to inhale when you bend your head to the right.

Good for your neck, shoulders, and lower jaw.

6. Look Over Shoulder

  • Keep your posture erect and your nose pointing forward.
  • Inhale and turn your head to the left.
  • Exhale and turn to the right.
  • Repeat five times and then switch your inhale to when turning your head to the right.

This motion stimulates your neck and shoulders, and helps them relax.

7. Neck Rolling

  • Let the chin fall towards your chest and then roll your chin via the right shoulder, round up, back, and then down to the left.
  • Draw a slow, soft, controlled circle with your nose.
  • Don’t lean the head backwards too much. NOTE! Your neck should not hurt.
  • Repeat five times and then switch and roll the other way.

Good for your throat, neck and jaws, and helps them relax.

8. Bend Backwards

  • Let your chin fall forward towards the chest. Inhale while leaning the upper part of your body backwards.
  • Let your head and neck fall effortlessly backward as far as possible. Grab your thighs or the chair to let your hands support you. NOTE! Your neck should not hurt.
  • Bring your head back down and let the chin sink towards the chest while exhaling.
  • Repeat 10 times.

This exercise is good for your throat, neck and lower jaw.

9. Tighten — Relax Your Body

  • Tighten your thighs, calves and feet while inhaling and exhaling three times. Try to maintain a rhythmic and relaxed breathing pattern.
  • Relax your entire body while taking a couple of breaths.
  • Now, tighten your lower abdomen and pelvis while inhaling and exhaling three times.
  • Relax your entire body while taking a couple of breaths.
  • End the exercise by inhaling and exhaling three times while clenching your hands and tightening your arms and chest. Then relax.

This exercise is an easy way to make sure that all the muscles in your body are activated and relaxed.

10. Shoulders Lift

  • Keep your spine straight.
  • Breathe in, pull your shoulders up towards your ears, and hold your breath for a few seconds while tightening your neck, shoulders and arms.
  • Breathe out as you let the shoulders sink and relax your whole body.
  • Repeat 10 times.

This exercise helps you become aware of the difference between being tense and relaxed.

11. Diaphragm Massage

  • Keep your posture erect and your back straight.
  • Insert your fingers just under your ribs, where your diaphragm is attached.
  • Breathe in and press your fingers against the diaphragm. It’s okay to press quite hard.
  • Continue to press on your diaphragm as you exhale. While emptying your lungs, the upper part of your body should collapse a little bit forward.
  • Repeat 10 times.

This exercise is good for relaxing your diaphragm, if it’s tense.

12. Hands Above Your Head

  • Bring your palms together above your head and maintain a relaxed breathing pattern.
  • The higher you are able to hold your hands, the deeper the inhalations will be.
  • Remember, it’s no competition, so just do your best while maintaining a relaxed breathing pattern.
  • Stay in this position for 2–5 minutes.

This exercise is good when your breathing is shallow and you find it difficult to breathe deeply.

13. Stand Like a Tree

  • Stand up with your back straight and bend your legs slightly.
  • Shape your arms and hands in a half circle in front of you, as if you were holding a big beach ball.
  • Pay attention to any tension in your body that may become apparent.
  • Over time, such tension will be released and you will become more and more relaxed.

Stand in this position for 2–5 minutes.

14. Fill Up Your Lungs to the Brim

  • Breathe big, deep breaths and fill your lungs as much as you possibly can, and then exhale slowly, slowly.
  • You don’t need to squeeze the last bit of air out before inhaling again.
  • One way to fill up your lungs to the brim is to first inhale “down into your abdomen,” thereafter filling your chest, and lastly the space near your collarbone.
  • Continue to breathe like this for 2–5 minutes.

This exercise clears your lungs of old air and particles, since the air reaches into unused portions of your lungs, and it will also help your breathing muscles become more relaxed.

15. Body Breathing

  • Breathe in and out in a rhythmical and calm manner.
  • Put your hands on your heart and imagine that you are breathing in and out through your heart.
  • You should “feel” how your heart fills with oxygen so that it can work properly on every inhalation.
  • On the out-breath your heart will recover and rest, as it becomes more and more relaxed for each exhalation.
  • Continue for a few minutes and then move your hands and attention to other parts of your body you may feel need support, like your stomach, head, jaws, knees or lower back.
  • If you work on your jaws you can apply a little pressure to make them relax with ease.

This exercise helps you become more aware of your body.

16. Abdominal Muscles and Diaphragm Training

  • Set the Relaxator on a high resistance level, i.e., a high number, so you have to make an effort when squeezing the air through.
  • When you exhale slowly, empty your lungs as much as possible, and at the end let your navel move in towards your lower back. On inhalation — just let the air flow in.
  • This exercise can be used as a form of interval training. For example, exhale to the count of five, inhale to the count of five, and then rest for three breathing cycles, over a 10-minute period.

This is good for your abdominal muscles and diaphragm, which are often weakened due to shallow breathing.

17. Carbon Dioxide Training

  • Use the Relaxatorn while jogging, cycling, walking, or Nordic Walking as it will extend the exhalation and boost your carbon dioxide levels quickly, which has a favorable effect on your body.
  • In the beginning, I advise you to avoid doing the activity at high intensity, or setting the resistance level too high on the Relaxator, as the quick increase of carbon dioxide can prompt headaches and/or dizziness.
  • When inhaling, try to imagine that the air is reaching all the way down to your navel.

18. Forgiveness

  • Think of a situation or person that makes you feel upset, angry, or annoyed. Make the situation as real as possible by fantasizing vividly, adding color, sound and moving pictures to the situation. You will notice that the thoughts and feelings you experience will alter your breathing pattern.
  • If you have problems getting in touch with your upset feelings, you may find fast and shallow breathing helpful, or try holding your breath altogether.
  • Now put your hands on your heart and take control over your breathing. Breathe deeply (not big), rhythmically, and calmly.
  • Say, “I’m sorry,” to yourself for things you have done or said. When breathing in, inhale forgiveness into your heart, and when exhaling allow this great feeling of forgiveness to spread throughout your whole body.
  • Say, “I’m sorry,” to the people who may have upset, annoyed or have irritated you. Do the same when inhaling and exhaling, as in point four.
  • Continue the exercise for 2–5 minutes.

If you find it hard to do the forgiveness exercise, try doing the same exercise with acceptance as your goal

19. Thankfulness

  • Put your hands on your heart and breathe in and out in a relaxed manner.
  • On every inhalation, think of different things you are grateful for.
  • Inhale this thankfulness into your heart.
  • On exhalation let this great feeling of thankfulness spread throughout your entire body.
  • For every breath you take, inhale gratefulness, care and appreciation for yourself, a place, a pet, or something near and dear to your heart.
  • Each time you exhale, every cell in your body will be filled with these great feelings.
  • Continue the exercise for 2–5 minutes.

20. Cross Crawl

  • Cross Crawl can be described as “march in place”.
  • Lift your right knee high and at the same time reach out with your opposite hand and touch your knee .
  • Then shift and lift your left knee high while touching your knee with your right hand.
  • Do the exercises slowly and keep an erect posture.
  • Count your steps and notice how the Relaxator helps you to take more steps on the exhale than on the inhale, which increases relaxation.
  • Continue the exercise for 2–5 minutes.

By crossing your body’s midline, this exercise helps you to integrate the information between your left and right hemisphere. Good brain integration stimulates learning, problem solving and relaxation.


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About the author

Anders Olsson is a lecturer, teacher and founder of the Conscious Breathing concept and the author of Conscious Breathing. After living most of his life with a ”hurricane of thoughts” bouncing back and forth in is head, Anders was fortunate enough to come across tools that have helped him relax and find his inner calm. The most powerful of these tools has undoubtedly been to improve his breathing habits, which made Anders decide to become the worlds most prominent expert in breathing. This is now more than 10 years ago and since then he has helped tens of thousands of people to a better health and improved quality of life.

Anders Olsson

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