Bellows Breath


This active breath-holding practice is both calming and invigorating. Isolating the belly, you’ll pull in and out to create a wave-like deep pumping action that massages the intestines and gently stimulates the autonomic nervous system when combined with deep breathing.

Here are some of the benefits:

  • Warms the body
  • Increases energy, calms the mind
  • Stimulates metabolism

The Method

  • Find a comfortable seat, either crossed-legged on the floor, hips slightly elevated, or seated in a chair, feet on the floor.
  • Hands can rest on your thighs, palms up or down.
  • Gently close your eyes.
  • Exhale completely and lean forward as you shift your weight into your hands to release your belly.
  • Begin a series of pulling the belly in and releasing in a rhythmic pattern as you hold your breath out.
  • Keep going within an out pattern until you need to take catch your breath.
  • Do 2-3 more rounds and then resume regular breathing.

The Breath

  • Focus on abdominal or belly breathing
  • Work up to 30 pulls per round, increasing as you can without disrupting the rhythm
  • One outheld breath followed by an inhale constitutes one round


Best done first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.

Often used in combination with Breath of Fire and Alternate Nostril Breathing to quiet the mind for during your morning practice.

Used to energize the body, increase alertness and clarify the mind.

Cautions: Avoid this practice if you have:

  • Acute anxiety
  • Stomach ulcer
  • Abdomen injury
  • Hypertension or hypotension
  • Cardiac problems

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About Elizabeth

I’m Elizabeth Borelli, breathe into breakthrough success coach and author. By combining my years of coaching experience, a BA in psychology, multiple certifications in ICF-accredited life coaching, plant-based nutrition, and RYT 200 yoga teacher training, I’ve developed a unique mind-body approach to personal growth and professional success.