How to Retrain Your Nervous System to Breathe Properly

Today in the 3rd week of our ‘Breathe and Bend’ Yoga Flow series, we looked at the space between the inhale and exhale. We practised a breathing exercise which harnesses the power of the pause between the inhales and exhales. Known as Box or Square breathing, this breathing technique is easy to do, quick to learn and retrains your nervous system to breathe properly. It also helps to clear the mind, relax the body, and improve focus.

Box breathing is a simple technique that a person can do anywhere, including at a work desk or in a coffee shop.

The Box breathing method:

  1. Close your eyes. Breathe in through your nose while counting to four slowly. Feel the air enter your lungs.
  2. Hold your breath inside while counting slowly to four. Try not to clamp your mouth or nose shut.
  3. Begin to slowly exhale for 4 seconds.
  4. Hold at the end of the exhale for 4 seconds.
  5. Repeat this cycle, at least 4 times.