1) 3 x 3 Breathing
3 x 3 breathing is a simple yet effective breathing exercise that can help promote relaxation and mindfulness. Follow these steps to practice this technique:
- Find a quiet and comfortable place to sit or lie down. Keep your mouth closed throughout the exercise.
- Begin by taking three normal breaths, inhaling and exhaling gently through your nose. Allow the breath to flow naturally without forcing it.
- After the third exhalation, pause for three seconds before starting the next cycle. If three seconds feels too long, adjust the pause to a duration that feels comfortable for you.
- Resume the sequence of three consecutive breaths—inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale—followed by the pause.
- Continue this pattern for a total of three minutes.
If you feel at ease with the exercise, you can choose to extend the pause at the end of every third exhalation, allowing yourself a longer moment of stillness.
As you practice, focus your attention on the rhythm of your breath and the sensation of each inhalation and exhalation. If your mind wanders, gently bring your focus back to the breath.
2) Nose Clearing Exercise
This technique can help improve nasal airflow and clear any congestion, allowing for better breathing during diaphragmatic breathing.
- Find a comfortable seated or standing position.
- Take a small breath in through your nose, and then exhale gently through your nose as well.
- After exhaling, with your mouth closed, gently pinch your nostrils closed using your fingers. This action will temporarily block the airflow.
- While holding your breath, slowly and gently shake your head from side to side or in a circular motion. Do this for as long as you comfortably can, but avoid any straining or breath-holding for an extended period.
- Release your nose and resume breathing through your nose normally.
You can repeat these 3 or 4 times until your nose clears.
By performing this nose clearing exercise before starting diaphragmatic breathing, you can help ensure that your nasal passages are clear and unobstructed.
3) Diaphragmatic breathing
Diaphragmatic breathing, also known as belly breathing, involves breathing through your nose to fully engage your diaphragm, which promotes relaxation and reduces stress.
To practice diaphragmatic breathing:
- Find a quiet, comfortable space to sit or lie down.
- Close your mouth and place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen.
- Inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your diaphragm to expand and your abdomen to
rise while keeping your chest still. Your chest not moving is a sign you are breathing with
- Exhale slowly and gently through your nose.
- Repeat the process for a few minutes, focusing on the sensation of your breath.
- Gradually increase the duration of your practice over time.
Breathing through your nose helps filter the air, regulate the temperature, and humidify it before it reaches your lungs. Regular practice of this technique can be a powerful tool for managing stress and promoting relaxation in various situations.
These exercises based on the Buteyko Method and the work of Patrick McKeown.