A Breath of Fresh Air


Perhaps if we lived in sparkling clean air zones we would find ourselves taking in deep lungfuls automatically, but unfortunately, most of us breathe incorrectly.

Yes, we manage to do it without thinking about it and thereby keep ourselves alive, but we are habitually likely to have fallen  prey to shallow breathing. 

I know I often find myself holding my breath when concentrating on something, and have to take time out to restore a better pattern. 

Although breathing exercises do not need us to do anything other than sit or stand up straight ( or even lay flat), for some reason they are yet another thing I've resisted  over the years - boring as! 

So for you fellow shallow breathers ...some tips I've been given that work well and are brief.

Square breathing:

Breathe in for a count of 4

Hold for a count of 4

Breathe out for a count of 4

Then pause for a count of 4


- repeat as many times as you wish -

This will calm you in times of stress, but also will restore a regular breathing pattern quickly.


OR and I'm going to unashamedly pinch this word for word from the Barefoot Doctor so as not to mislead by any editing, or spin it in the wrong direction...

"Breathe in through your nose and mouth simultaneously, by keeping your lips slightly parted, and breathe out through your mouth. Halfway through the in-breath, make a subtle yet definite pause for a split second, then continue to fill your lungs to the top. Breathe out immediately, and halfway through the exhalation take another split-second pause, then continue to expel all the air from your lungs. Once the rhythm's engaged, the air passing in and out should sound something like, 'Hhm-hhm, Whh-whh'.


If using four-stage breathing while walking or running, time each stage to coincide with a footstep, as in 'Hhm' and step, 'Hhm' and step, 'Whh' and step and 'Whh' and step. If lifting, pushing or pulling something heavy, simply set up a moderately fast four-stage breathing tempo and keep doing it until the action is successfully completed. If using it while having sex, something the male of the Taoist species has practised for the past 5,000 years or so to help control ejaculation, keep the breathing tempo slow and steady."

And for a quick fix relax, watch this (less than 1 min) B/DOC Ribs

To get to sleep:  

Breathe in for a count of 4 then breathe out for a count of 8 

Repeat 4-5 times

Meditational breathing:

There is the Wim Hof method of breathing which involves several rounds, and an amazing feeling of an at- one- ness at the end, to say nothing of being very focused.  Watch the vid here: WHM Breathe

There will be a type of breathing practice to suit you and your temperament, so just have a bit of a play around. 

And whenever you possibly can, get to the sea or the mountains to inhale that amazingly energising and cleansing air.