Updated: May 1, 2021
Deep breath in. Deep breath out.
Box breathing is a powerful, yet simple, relaxation technique that aims to return breathing to its normal rhythm. This breathing exercise, also referred to as pranayama or breathwork, may help to calm the mind, relax the body, improve focus and help to release stress.
Box breathing is a simple technique that a person can do anywhere, including at a work desk or in a cafe. This breathing technique is used in a variety of settings, from doctors’ and therapists’ offices, to yoga studios and meditation centers. Even Navy SEALS use box breathing to stay calm and improve their concentration in extremely tense situations. This is something that Mark Divine often talks about during lectures about breathing, or tactical breathing as he sometimes calls it.
How to do Box Breathing
Find a comfortable seated position. Sit up tall, elongate through the spine, bringing length from the Crown of the head to the Root of your tailbone. If you are sitting in a chair, plant your feet flat on the floor, hands on your thighs.
Close down your eyes if you feel safe doing so. Breathe in through your nose while counting to four slowly. Feel the air enter your lungs. Expanding your chest and wrapping around your heart, giving it a nice loving hug.
Hold your breath at the top, counting slowly to four.
Slowly exhale for 4 seconds.
Hold at the bottom for a count of four.
Repeat steps 1 to 4.
You may repeat this breathwork for as long as you need, without taxing yourself or until calm returns.
*Please note that the traditional method is with 4 breaths count, to symbolize the four corners of a square/box. However, if you find this breath count challenging, to begin with, you can try counting to 3 instead. Once you have developed the lunge capacity, you may choose to count to 5 or 6.
When Can I use this Breathwork?
This can be done whenever you need to reset, calm down & recenter. I've used this so many times over the years to calm my anger. It can be done while standing in line, in traffic (with eyes open!) & anywhere else you need it.
Tip: When you start to feel your heart racing (from anger, anxiety, fear, etc) placing the left hand on your heart and the right on your belly allows you to feel & connect to your inner being or soul.
Here's a quick video I did on my Instagram Stories (not following me??! Follow me here)
Rather watch it on Youtube? No problem! Here you go.
How has breathwork or pranayama helped you in your life?
If you give this a try, leave me a comment and tell me how it went!
Yoga is YOUR practice, YOUR time, YOUR journey. Let it be what YOU need it to be. Step on your mat and Let it all Go.
Love & Light,
*Disclaimer: This Disclaimer forms a binding agreement between you and Chantal Croucher also known as Yogatation, a Sole Proprietorship operating out of Ontario, Canada. In continuing to watch this video and practicing yoga with me, you release me from any liability related to any injuries or issues which may arise from the risks of practicing yoga through this video. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN ACTIONS IN PARTICIPATING IN THIS YOGA CLASS. These videos are posted for educational and informational purposes only and not tailored to you specifically in any way. Please ensure you are practicing in a safe space and consult a medical professional before your practice. Lastly, please note that the techniques and approaches to yoga contained in these videos are simply my teachings and I make no representations about their efficacy nor do I promise any results.
Namaste and enjoy the practice.