Performing the four-count breath exercise makes up an imperative part of the specific part of yoga called pranayama – breathing exercises that optimize one's life force (prana) through the control of one's breathing patterns. Your breath will always reveal the degree and at times, complexity to which you are psychologically in balance – your mental stability – and how finely you are tuned into your body. The simplicity of breath retention makes it an excellent barometer of your stress level. Practicing four-count breathing can change your brain and body activity and transition you into a state of mental flow. When you're in a state of flow, life becomes more easeful because you're in a state of mindfulness. When you become mindful of your breath, you come to appreciate life more – and appreciate the fact that you are simply breathing! Breathing exercises will also enhance one's energy level, resilience to stress, mental stability, a greater focus on priorities and goals, a closer connection to the body, and a deep sense of presence. It's a very simple in yet profound exercise: You inhale for a count of 4, suspend your breath for a count 4, slowly exhale all of your breath out for a count of 4, and then repeat the cycle for 4 minutes. This exercise can be done at anywhere, at any time, in any position, for as long as you need until you experience a fluid stream of mental clarity and calm. Sit back now, relax, and try it. Then ask yourself, what occurred in your body? What happened in your mind? How long could you hold your breath? What did you feel like afterward?