Before engaging with this breathing technique, remember to be mindful. Listen to your body and learn from the signals your body and mind send you while you are doing the exercises. Use those signals as personal feedback about the effect of the exercises on your body and mind, and adjust them as needed to find what works best for you.
STEP 1: Sit in a meditation posture, lying down, or whichever way is most comfortable for you, in a quiet and safe environment. Make sure you can expand your lungs freely without feeling any constriction.
STEP 2: Close your eyes and try to clear your mind. Be conscious about your breath and try to fully connect with it. Take thirty to forty deep breaths in through the nose or mouth. Fill up your belly, your chest, all the way up to your head. Don’t force the exhale. Just relax and let the air out. Fully in, letting go.
STEP 3: At the end of the last breath, draw the breath in once more and fill the lungs to maximum capacity without using any force. Then relax to let the air out. Hold the breath until you feel the urge to breathe again. This is called the (external) retention phase.
STEP 4: When you feel the urge to breathe, take one deep breath in and hold it for ten to fifteen seconds. This is called the recovery breath.
STEP 5: Let your breath go and start with a new round. Fully in, letting go. Repeat the full cycle three to four times. After having completed this breathing exercise, take your time to enjoy the feeling.
With repeated practice, this protocol becomes more and more like a meditation.
Once you have a little experience with the basic breathing exercise, try this additional technique:
In round 2, step 4, try “squeezing” the breath to your head when you take your recovery breath. You do this by tensing your pelvic floor and directing that sense of tension to the core of your body and up to your head, while keeping the rest of your body relaxed. You should feel a sense of pressure in your head. Then relax everything when you exhale