When someone ask for a solution to reduce stress, the answer is often "you need to breath". But breathing is something we do all the time and that doesn't reduce stress by itself because we breath automatically, unconsciously. The good answer is "you need to breath consciously with a good ratio". Pranayama is one of the best and most effective ways to shift one's consciousness, just by changing a breathing pattern you can achieve great results. Here is a very easy and super effective tool to alleviate your stress, the 8-1 ratio.
How to do it:
Sit in a comfortable posture, either on the floor in a cross legged position or on a chair with feet flat on the floor.
Close your eyes and concentrate on your breath.
Inhale through your nose in 8 strokes, exhale through your nose in 1 deep and powerful stroke. Continue for 11 minutes.
Take a deep inhale and hold your breath for 5-10 seconds. Exhale. Inhale again, hold your breath for 15-20 seconds and roll your shoulders. Exhale. Finally inhale, hold your breath for 15-20 seconds and roll your shoulder as fast as you can. Exhale and relax.
When you inhale instead of counting your strokes like 1, 2, 3 etc. use a mantra. I like to use the mantra SA TA NA MA and repeat it 2 times on my inhale.
Try to inhale the same quantity of air with each stroke.
At the end of your eighth stroke you should be full of air.