Breathing Practice

Coherent Breathing

Even inhales and exhales balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems

  1. Inhale for a slow count of 4 through nose
  2. Exhale for a slow count of 4 through nose


3-Part Breath

For mental alertness, activating parasympathetic nervous system so the body and mind is calm

  1. While sitting in the upright position, place your right hand on abdomen and left hang on upper chest
  2. Take full breaths through the abdomen a few times until it becomes smooth
  3. Inhale first through the bottom lungs, then mid lungs, then through upper lungs
  4. Exhale from upper chest all the way down to abdomen, emptying completely
  5. Repeat for 3-5 minutes


Alternate-Nostril Breath

Balancing hemispheres of brain and enables flow of life force throughout body

  1. Use pinky, ring, and thumb fingers to hold both sides of nostrils
  2. Inhale for 4 counts through left nostril holding right nostril
  3. Exhale for 4 counts through right nostril holding left nostril
  4. Repeat for three rounds ending with exhalation

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Left Nostril Breath

Activates right hemisphere of the brain and parasympathetic nervous system-soothing and calming helping insomnia

  1. Begin with right thumb closing right nostril
  2. Inhale through left for 4 counts
  3. Exhale through right 4 counts
  4. Repeat 20 times

Ocean-Sounding Victory Breath

Soothing to central nervous system, calms the mind and promotes clarity

  1. Inhale with a slight constriction in the back of the throat, so that breath is audible, like a light snoring sound
  2. Exhale with the same sound
  3. Continue this using the 3 part breath process



Bee Breathing

Calming effect on entire nervous system

  1. Sit in comfortable position with spine erect and chin slightly downward
  2. Inhale and when exhaling make a buzzing sound in throat



Stair Step Breathe

Mildly energizing for anxiety and depression

  1. Sitting in upright position, Inhale 6-10 sips of breath, hold for 4 counts
  2. Exhale for 6 counts
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 twice
  4. Inhale 6 counts, hold for 4 counts
  5. Exhale 8-10 step down puffs of breath
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 twice

Breath of Joy

Awakens body-activating parasympathetic nervous system

  1. Stand with feet shoulder width apart with knees slightly bent
  2. Inhale 1/3 as you swing your arms up in front of the body, parallel
  3. Continue inhaling 2/3 as you stretch the arms out to the side like wings, shoulder height
  4. Inhale to full capacity  and swings arms up over the head, palms facing


Pulling Energy

Promotes feelings of clarity and spaciousness, raising heart rate and oxygen intake

  1. Inhale and raise arms over the head, palms facing
  2. Exhale and pulls arms down toward waist, making fists with hands
  3. Knees bend softly as you pull. Repeat 10-20 times
  4. Inhale and extend arms out in front of waist with hands open


Power Abdomen

Stimulates midsection increasing sense of vitality and personal power

  1. Stand with feet slightly wider than hip width apart and bring hands to shoulders
  2. Inhale, filling lungs halfway and rotate to your left
  3. Extend right arm forcefully to the left, exhaling with a “ha” sound
  4. Repeat on other side


Bellows Breath

Good for depression-blood pressure and heart rate drop

  1. Sit comfortably with the spine erect; bring fists to shoulders knuckles facing out, and arms hugging the torso. Breathe in and out.
  2. As you inhale through the nostrils, send your arms straight up with great force opening the palms spreading fingers wide
  3. Exhale with great force as you bring hands back to starting position
  4. Do this at moderate pace 20 times, sit for several moments, observing the effects.