Dear Strength Coach/Personal Trainer,
When I work with athletes or clients and teach them, particularly the yin or yang breathing techniques, I often get the feedback that they feel they can’t breathe very deeply. I check their comments by paying attention to the duration of their inhalation or exhalation and often find the duration of the inhalation and exhalation to be in the range of 3-5 seconds. Ideally, it should be 7-8 seconds.
Here is the 4-step technique that often helps increase the depth of the breath.
- Make, what is currently, a full inhalation. Pay attention to how it feels and make a note of the approximate time it takes to inhale. Relax before proceeding with step 2.
- Make your inhalation as deep as possible.
- Then, when you feel that you can’t get more air in, attempt to “sniff” in a little more air through your nose - do this extra sniff 5-20 times - this is a stretch of the expiratory muscles that need to have the proper length for a full inhalation to occur. Exhale and relax for 10-15 seconds before proceeding to step 4.
- Make another full inhalation and notice if the breath has gotten deeper.
I first learned this technique from attending a workshop with Scott Sonnon who uses this way of breathing during certain static stretches.
If you give this technique a try, I would love to hear your comments!
To Your Success,