Breathing in Steps

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Breathing in Steps, 2 versions

This breathing pattern is more choreographed than most, but for those of you who like to add some variety to your practice, this one is great to work with.

You may choose to emphasize the inhalation to reset your focus boost your energy during the day, or extend on the exhalation to insert some tension release into your day. You can also combine the practices as part of your morning or evening daily routine. You can practice this one either sitting or standing.

Breathing in Steps: Inhalation

This energizing version of breathing in steps focuses on the inhale.

Note; you may want to think about inhaling from the top down by breathing into your upper rib cage first, then filling the middle and the lower chest as you gradually expand your inhalation from the top all the way down, finally filling lower lungs as your belly slightly extends, just like it does in 2-part breathing.

The practice:

Start with a full exhale to prepare, then inhale one-half of your breath comfortably. Pause for 2 seconds. Inhale the other half of your breath, then pause for 2 seconds. Exhale completely and fully, pausing for 2 seconds at the bottom of the exhale.

Repeat this pattern for 4 full, top-down breaths, inserting a 2 second pause after each transition.

Now you can repeat the pattern again, this time in three steps: inhale one-third, pause for 2 seconds; inhale one-third, pause for 2; inhale one-third, pause for 2. Exhale completely and pause for 2.

Breathing in Steps: Exhalation

Exhale-focused breathing calms your autonomic nervous system (ANS).

Note; you can think about exhaling from the bottom up by gently contracting the lower abdominal muscles progressively from the pubic bone up to your navel, then up to your chest. Once you’ve completed the exhale with abdominal muscles slightly engaged gently release and continue with the breathing pattern.

The practice:

Begin with a full inhale, then exhale one-half of your breath slowly. Pause for 2 seconds, then exhale the remaining half of your breath, again pausing for 2 seconds. Inhale fully, pause for 2 seconds.

Repeat this pattern for 4 full, exhale-focused breaths, inserting a 2 second pause after each transition.

Now you can repeat the pattern again, this time in three steps: inhale one-third, pause for 2 seconds; inhale one-third, pause for 2; inhale one-third, pause for 2. Exhale completely and pause for 2.

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About Elizabeth

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