Mindful Breathing | Different Types of Breathwork


If you have read our previous blog about the power of your breath (The Power of Your Breath) then you may want to learn more about how to enjoy the many benefits of this wonderfully powerful, yet simple, practice.   Below are some of the different type of  breathwork practice. 

4-7-8 Breath: 

This breathing practice uses the technique of holding the breath to “press pause” on the busy mind.

The sequence is as follows;

Inhale for the count of 4

Hold for the count of  7

Exhale for the count of 8

The prolonged exhale encourages the nervous system/whole body to let go of stress and emerge feeling renewed.

Alternate Nostril Breathing: 

To start, place the right thumb pad gently onto the right nostril – gently, just enough pressure to block the air. 

Inhale in this position, through the left nostril.

Then, hold the breath as you switch, placing the right index finger on the left nostril.

Once in place, exhale through the right nostril. Inhale here.

Now,  continue switching nostrils before exhaling. This has a balancing effect on the body/mind.

Deep Abdominal Breathing: 

This long, deep breath starts by filling the body with air like a balloon – from the belly expanding to the chest rising for a full breath in.

As the breath is released on the exhale, the chest falls, ribs pull in, and navel pulls in.

By engaging the abdomen, you experience the full capacity of breath and stimulate the vagus nerve, sending a message to the entire body and mind to relax.

5 Breath Technique

Follow these steps.

Inhale very slowly through your nose for 5 seconds: 1-2-3-4-5. 

Exhale very slowly through your nose or mouth for 5 seconds: 1-2-3-4-5. 

Wait for 5 seconds: 1-2-3-4-5. 

Repeat the process three more times (1 minute total).

Breath of Fire: 

This is a more advanced method, where an instructor guides participants to create a breath pattern that utilizes the muscles of the core on the exhale.

Exhaling through the nose, you engage your abdominal muscles to send the breath out.

A passive inhale through the nose follows, as the abdominal muscles relax and expand.

This breath rejuvenates to the body and helps create steadiness in the mind.


How to Get Started?

While it is always a great idea to learn with a qualified trainer, especially for the more advanced  practices, to help you become familiar with various breathing methods, it is also something that you can practice and learn yourself over time.  There are many videos available on youtube that teach the different methods available.  Just do your research to ensure the tutorial you are watching is from a certified instructor who knows what they are doing. 

If you have any medical condition, then please consult your doctor before starting a breathwork pracrice. 

For a simple introduction to breathwork, you can follow these steps below:

First, get into a comfortable position. 

Step 1. Inhale through your nose taking a long deep breath for 4-5 seconds.

Step 2. Let the air go all the way from your lungs moving downwards  into to your stomach so that your stomach expands. Fill your lower stomach with lots of oxygen.

Step 3. Hold the air in your stomach, then let it go back up to your lungs.

Step 4. Then, blow it out for 7 seconds through your mouth.

Step 5. Repeat this process until you find yourself enter a deeply relaxed state. In this state, you will be highly receptive to any messages you hear, so listening to a recording of any positive affirmations you need to hear right now will be super powerful.

Further Resources

Practicing through a guided recording, program, or reputable organization can help you pace yourself and get the most out of your breathwork. There are many mindfulness apps  that nclude instructions for focused breathwork.

 UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center provides some free guided recordings for individual practice. They range from a few minutes long to about 15 minutes long. 

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