Pause & Reflect: Guided Meditation Resonance Breathing

What is Resonance Breathing?

Our breath is pretty amazing when you think about it. It’s one of the few systems that functions on “auto-pilot” without our conscious effort to help us stay alive, and yet we are also able to consciously manipulate the breath when we need to (i.e., taking a deep breath before diving under water or sighing out loud to relieve built up tension). One of the ways we can consciously manipulate our breath is through resonance breathing. In this guided meditation class I walk you through three different options for resonance breathing. You can read more about resonance breathing below.

Resonance breathing is a slow relaxed breath that follows a specific count on the inhale and exhale to help calm the body and balance your nervous system. Regular practice of resonance breathing helps to tone the vagus nerve and regulate the autonomic nervous system (your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system) by increasing heart rate variability (Lehrer, 2000).

To practice resonance breathing, pick a ratio of inhale to exhale length that feels best, then practice slow and deliberate diaphragmatic breathing to the specific count you chose. The three options I included in this guided meditation class are:

  • 4:6 (Inhale for four, then exhale for six)
  • 6:6 (Inhale and exhale are even in length. Breath in for a count of six, then out for a count of six)
  • 5:7 (Inhale for five, then exhale for seven)

Find a pattern that feels comfortable and natural for you. Allow your breath to flow freely, but if by chance that is difficult to do in this moment, or it feels like you’re forcing or holding the breath, that’s okay. Take this as a good sign to try another variation of breathwork or perhaps a different count (i.e., 3:4 or 4:5). Breathwork is a very unique and personal practice so it might take some time to find what you like best. Notice how you feel during and after each breathing variation. You may want to try it a few times, to see how it works in different situations. And remember, this is YOUR practice, you can adjust it and switch up the pace however works best for you 😊


Lehrer, P., E. Vaschillo, and B. Vaschillo, Resonant frequency biofeedback training to increase cardiac variability: rational and manual for training. Journal of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 2000. 25(3): p. 177-190.

Shelly Morales, like many other fitness professionals, juggles several career paths. She’s a group fitness instructor, a college professor, a personal trainer, a meditation teacher, a mental health advocate, and a mindfulness mentor. The common thread that ties her work together: she’s a lifelong learner and an educator at heart. When she’s passionate about something, she’s called to teach and share it with others.

Shelly created Mindful Fit Pro as a space for other fitness professionals to learn how mindfulness can transform their teaching. Mindful Fit Pro educates fitness instructors and personal trainers how to support their clients (and their own!) mental health through mindfulness, movement, and connection.

In 2013, Shelly graduated from Claremont Graduate University with a Master’s degree in Psychology. She currently attends Claremont Graduate University as a doctoral student. Her research focuses on encouraging others to seek help for their mental health.

Shelly has worked as a health educator specializing in stress management counseling, helped organize community events where guest speakers could share their lived experience with mental health challenges, and traveled across the country to present for the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

In addition to her work in the field of mental health, Shelly has worked in the fitness industry since 2011. Throughout the past decade she has taught for college recreation centers, boutique studios, and online. She has received certifications in group fitness instructor (AFAA), yoga (200 E-RYT), Pilates (NPCT), personal training (ACE), and Mindfulness Meditation (100 MTT).