We talk a lot about all the things you need to do to improve your health and extend your longevity, but we don’t often mention breathing. After all, that’s something that most of us do automatically. If you meditate regularly, though, whether on its own or as part of yoga or martial arts, you’ll know what a difference breathing exercises can make. Moonbird is here to try to make those breathing exercises easier.

Instead of needing a human instructor to stand there and talk you through your breathing, you can follow a little device that you hold in the palm of your hand. Like an egg in shape but a little longer and narrower, it has rounded edges for a pleasant feel. Some people may find the silicone a little slippery, and it only comes in one size, so it may not fit in every hand.

You don’t need to switch the device on first. It’ll wake itself up when you give it a gentle shake. There’s no need to open the app, either; just place your thumb over the green light to activate. Moonbird will start to inflate and deflate in your hand at the pace it wants you to breathe. You’ll probably want to follow its rhythm, and you should. It will stop automatically when it’s time for the session to end.

The app does explain things in more detail and can offer extra guidance, but this device really is easy to use and almost intuitive. The fact that you hold it and it responds to touch means it will work even if you have your eyes closed or it’s dark. You don’t need to see what you’re doing.

When you slow your breathing, it can improve things like your heart rate and blood pressure. The negative impacts of stress and anxiety are alleviated a little. One study, though it only had 39 participants, provided evidence to suggest Moonbird may be a useful sleep aid.

Other than the lack of alternative sizes, the biggest downside to Moonbird is probably its price. It doesn’t come cheap. However, it’s easy and effective to use, and many people will appreciate having a physical aid rather than just a disembodied app. If you want to find a way to improve your breathwork that doesn’t require classes and instructors, it’s certainly worth giving it a try.

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