Diaphragmatic breathing is what natural/normal breathing is, and for example babies automatically breathe with their diaphragm.

Diaphragmatic breathing helps:
Decrease the work of breathing by slowing your breathing rate.
Decrease oxygen demand.
Help the lungs fill more efficiently
Use less effort and energy to breathe.
Bonus: it also helps tone your abs :>



Lie on your back on a flat surface with your knees bent. You can use a pillow under your head and your knees for support, if that’s more comfortable. Avoid doing it in bed to prevent the likelihood of falling asleep.

Place one hand on your upper chest and the other just below your rib cage. This will allow you to feel your diaphragm move as you breathe.

Breathe in slowly through your nose so that your stomach moves out, causing your hand to rise. The hand on your chest should remain as still as possible.

Tighten your stomach muscles, so that your stomach moves in, causing your hand to lower as you exhale through pursed lips. The hand on your upper chest should remain as still as possible.

When you get comfortable with the practice, you can perform it while seated, which allows you to do it anywhere.

Sit comfortably, with your knees bent and your shoulders, head and neck relaxed.

Place one hand on your upper chest and the other just below your rib cage. This will allow you to feel your diaphragm move as you breathe.

Breathe in slowly through your nose so that your stomach moves out against your hand. The hand on your chest should remain as still as possible.

Tighten your stomach muscles, so that your stomach moves back in, as you exhale through pursed lips. The hand on your upper chest must remain as still as possible.



5 min to start, but you may increase time as you feel more comfortable with the practice.

Set a timer (alarm) to avoid checking the time during your practice.



Seated on a chair, bed, cushion, or on the floor.

Back upright (leaning on the wall or the back of a chair is helpful at first), and hands lay comfortably on your legs. Legs are crossed or straight.



Notice your body: its shape, weight, and touch. Relax.

Turn to the sensation of your body: feel the floor, cushion or chair on your body. Feel the connection with them. Relax and breathe.

Turn to your breath: feel the natural flow of your breath. Where do you notice it: in your abdomen, chest, throat, and nose? Don’t try to alter your breath, just let it flow naturally. Notice the cycle of your breath: when does it begin and when does it end?

You might notice that your mind is wandering: your thoughts are no longer on your breath. That’s ok, it is natural. Just acknowledge the thoughts by saying silently to yourself: “I am thinking about something else. Then, gently redirect your attention back to your breathing.

From time to time, you might let lost in your thoughts again, just acknowledge it and return to your breath. Remain kind to yourself.

(when the alarm goes off) Thank yourself graciously for having completed this practice. Love yourself and say it out loud with joy and conviction.





0 to 90 seconds: Standing up, start breathing deeply and quickly as if you were blowing a balloon. Exhalations should be hard and forced. This is what you do when you hyperventilate


Sit down, close your eyes, and listen to your body. How does it feel, do you feel discomfort, if so where? Scan your body and pay attention to the sensations that emanate from each part of it. Here are some of the most common symptoms of hyperventilation, see if you notice them in yourself:

  • Anxiety, feeling of panic, impending disaster, detachment
  • A rapid or irregular heart beat
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Dizziness, faintness, light-headedness
  • Headaches, visual disturbances
  • Tingling, ‘pins and needles’ in hands and feet
  • Cramps, shakes, sweats and twitches
  • Weakness, exhaustion, lack of concentration and memory.


Find a quiet, comfortable spot where you will not be disturbed, and allow yourself a few seconds to calm down. Practice diaphragmatic breathing twice a day for 10 minutes each.

  • Lying on your back, place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your abdomen, and monitoring the movement of each make sure only the hand on the abdomen  is moving. During inhalation, the hand moves in an outward direction as the abdomen expands, and then it moves in an inward direction during exhalation as the abdomen is sucked back in. Breathing through your abdomen will decrease your breathing rate to a normal 8 to 10 breath per minute.
  • Try to limit the amount of movement from the upper (chest) hand. If you are normally a chest breather, this may feel artificial and cause feelings of breathlessness. That is a natural response; just remember that you are getting enough oxygen and the feelings of breathlessness will decrease the more you practice. If you find it very hard to keep your chest still, lie on the floor, flat on your stomach (that is, facing the floor) with your hands clasped under your head. This will make it easier to breathe from the abdomen. Once you have done that several times and feel comfortable breathing from the abdomen, practice the exercise again while in a seated position. Don’t gulp in a big breath and then let it out all at once. When you breathe out, let the air escape equally over the whole time you are breathing out. Although it does not matter whether you breathe through your nose or your mouth, try breathing through your nose at first as it will help prevent taking in big gulps of air.
  • Start to count on your inhalations. That is, when you breathe in, think the word “one” to yourself, and as you breathe out, think the word “relax.” Think “two” on your next breath in and “relax” on the breath out. Think “three” on your next breath in and “relax” on the breath out. Continue this up to around “ten” and then go backwards to “one.” If other thoughts come to your mind while counting, don’t get upset or angry, acknowledge them, and then bring your focus back to the count.

When you first begin to count your breaths, you may become breathless or a little dizzy and begin to speed up your breathing. This should subside once you get used to the exercise. If it becomes too uncomfortable, stop for a short while and calm down, then begin again


Nadi Shodhana (Alternate-Nostril Breath)

This breathing exercise can be practiced daily and/or during times when you feel anxious, stressed or exhausted. 


5 to 10 minutes or until you feel relaxed.


Sit comfortably on the floor with spine erect and eyes closed.

You can add a blanket around your waist to enhance groundedness and stability.


Close the right nostril gently with the right thumb. Slowly inhale up the left nostril. Close the left nostril with the ring finger and let your thumb go. Exhale down the right nostril and inhale back up the right nostril. Switch to exhale left. That’s one cycle.  

Pause and feel the effects of the practice. 

Repeat as many cycles as you can for at least 5 minutes or until you feel relaxed.

If your nose is congested or if you have a deviated septum, you can practice this breathing exercise by repeating cycles of inhalation and exhalation while visualizing the breath flowing gracefully from side to side.


Samavritti (Balancing Breath or Counting Breath)

This breathing exercise is helpful when you want your mind to slow down. Day or night, the steady rhythm of the breath helps to settle an overstimulated mind.   When the mind is spinning, counting the breath is one of the most effective ways to slow down. The steady rhythm of the count helps to settle the mind’s fluctuations (vrittis) and reestablish balance (sama). The most common practice is maintaining a one-to-one ratio—for example, inhaling and exhaling to the count of four. It’s natural to begin at a faster pace and gradually slow down as the mind begins to quiet. Feel free to layer on a soft Ujjayi pranayama (Ocean-Sounding Breath) to enhance focus and concentration.


2 to 5 minutes


Sit comfortably with eyes closed and palms on your lap.


Gently inhale on a count to 4 and exhale on a count to 4. Repeat the cycle for 2 to 5 minutes or until you feel mentally and physically settled.

At first you may breathe too fast for the count, don’t worry and continue to breathe until you are finally able to slow down to the count of 4.

Inhale smoothly as you count to four. Exhale smoothly as you count to four. As an alternative, you can lengthen the exhalations compared to the inhalations by, for example, inhaling to the count of four, and then exhaling to the count of six or eight. 

You can also layer this exercise with a soft Ujjayi pranayama (ocean sounding breath) for focus and concentration:

Ujjayi pranayama: Inhale and exhale deeply through your mouth, feeling the air passing through your windpipe.On your exhalations, slightly contract the back of your throat (as when whispering), letting out a soft whisper of the sound, “ahhh,” as you exhale (as if you were trying to fog up a window). Your breath will sound like an ocean wave.

                                Once you feel comfortable with your breathing,  keeping the same constriction in your throat, gently close your mouth and begin breathing only through your nose.. You will continue to hear the “ocean” sound as you breathe through your nose.

Sheetali (Cooling Breath)


1 to 3 minutes


Sit comfortably with your spine erect. Close your eyes and rest your upturned palms on your lap


Curl your tongue and draw in a long, refreshing breath, and then you exhale through the nose. During each exhalation, lightly touch the tip of the tongue to the roof of the mouth, sending coolness toward the upper palate. 

Repeat this cycle for 1 to 3 minutes or until feeling mentally and physically refreshed. 

Alternatively, if you cannot curl your tongue, inhale through the teeth, with the lips parted, then exhale through the nose.



This type of breathing helps reduce stress and improves sleep when practiced once or twice a week for 2 to 3 minutes.

First: find out what your carbon dioxide (Co2) discard rate is with this quick exercise:

Take a normal inhalation, then time yourself to see how long it takes you to fully empty your lungs during a normal exhale.

Results fall between 20 seconds (or less) to 50 seconds (or more):

A: 20 sec or <: brief or low cCo2 tolerance

B: 25 to 45 sec: moderate level of co2 tolerance

C: 50 sec or >: high degree of co2

Please keep in mind that Co2 tolerance level does not reflect your fitness level and how athletic you are. Also, if you are particularly stressed, your Co2 levels will be small, but if you have had a good night sleep and are relaxed, those levels will be higher.

Your practice of boxed breathing will be based on your level of Co2 tolerance:

If you are:

A – inhale for 3 counts, hold for 3 counts, and exhale for 3 counts

if you are

B – inhale for 5 or 6 counts , hold for 5 or 6 counts, and exhale for 5 or 6 counts.

if you are

C – inhale for 8-10 counts, hold for 8-10 counts, and exhale for 8-10 counts

Benefits of this practice:

Encourages deeper breathing with fewer breaths

Reduces over breathing

Improves levels of calm and quality of sleep

Overtime, you may see your Co2 tolerance levels increase as well.


How to Breathe Correctly for Optimal Health, Mood, Learning & Performance | Huberman Lab Podcast


by Dr. Andrew Weil

Also called the relaxing breath, the 4-7-8 exercise serves as a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system:

First time: practice sitting with your back straight (once you are familiar with it you can do it lying in bed).

Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue behind your upper front teeth. You’ll keep it there for the entire exercise.

Completely exhale through your mouth, making a “whoosh” sound.

Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose as you mentally count to four.

Hold your breath for a count of seven.

Exhale completely through your mouth, making another “whoosh” sound to a count of eight



Also called coherent breathing, resonance breathing can help you avoid an anxiety attack by putting you in a calm, relaxed state.

Lie down and close your eyes.

Gently breathe in through your nose, mouth closed, for a count of five seconds.

Exhale for five seconds, allowing your breath to leave your body slowly and gently. Don’t force it.

Continue this breathing pattern for at least a few minutes.

Take a few additional minutes to be still and focus on how your body feels.



Also called Nadi Shodhana, alternate nostril breathing can help quiet the mind, and it can help you settle your body and emotions.

Take a comfortable and tall seat, making sure your spine is straight and your heart is open.

Relax your left palm comfortably into your lap and bring your right hand just in front of your face.

With your right hand, bring your pointer finger and middle finger to rest between your eyebrows, lightly using them as an anchor. We will use mostly the thumb and ring finger.

Close your eyes and take a deep breath in and out through your nose.

Close your right nostril with your right thumb. Inhale through the left nostril slowly and steadily.

Close the left nostril with your ring finger so both nostrils are held closed; retain your breath at the top of the inhale for a brief pause.

Open your right nostril and release the breath slowly through the right side; pause briefly at the bottom of the exhale.

Inhale through the right side slowly.

Hold both nostrils closed (with ring finger and thumb).

Open your left nostril and release breath slowly through the left side. Pause briefly at the bottom.

Repeat 5-10 cycles, allowing your mind to follow your inhales and exhales.



This type of breathing helps to bring more oxygen to your lungs, which then leads to a feeling of calm and relaxation.

Relax your neck and shoulder muscles.

Breathe in (inhale) through your nose

Pucker or “purse” your lips as if you were going to whistle or gently flicker the flame of a candle.

Breathe out (exhale) slowly and gently through your pursed lips while counting to four. It may help to count to yourself: exhale, one, two, three, four.

Repeat 5 to 10 times. Stop if you feel lightheaded.


Do not force the air out.

Always breathe out for longer than you breathe in.

Breathe slowly, easily, and relaxed … in and out … until you are in complete control.



Also called humming bee breath, this technique promotes relaxation through the vibration created with the breath. It helps shed the tension in your body.

Take a comfortable seat or stand with a straight spine.

Consciously take longer, fuller, deeper inhales and exhales (both should be of equal length)

Breathe in through the nose for at least five seconds.

With your mouth closed, hum as if you’re saying “hmmm” until you’re out of breath.

Repeat five to seven times.

Once you’ve finished, restore your natural breath and observe the effects of your practice. Feel the vibrations of your hum echo throughout your body. Allow them to reach every crevice and corner to shake away any lingering tension or stress



This exercise combines deep breathing with visualization. Be creative with your visualization and pick anything that feels good to you. For example, you can visualize the breath as dry or wet steam (as in a sauna), gentle hands that caress you, icy air that cools down your body, etc…

Take a deep breath, visualizing the breath as “hot air” entering the body through your feet.

Imagine now the hot air slowly flowing up your legs, your upper body, and then filling the lungs/gently caressing your lungs.

Relax each muscle as the hot air passes it.

Breathe out slowly, imagining the air passing from the lungs back into your upper body, then your legs, before leaving the body through your feet.

Repeat until calm.