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    How To Breathe Deeper

    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.

    1. 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.
    2. Make your inhalation as deep as possible.
    3. 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.
    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,

    Karsten

    PS: If you want to learn more about yin and yang breathing, we have our brand new “A Course In Breathing” for you! Check it out here.

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