Eliminate stress with this classic breathing technique

We can live without water for a few days, food for maybe weeks, but air for only a few minutes. So why is it that we neglect this most important of functions that keeps us alive?

At MaArtial, we believe there is much joy to be gained from breathing in the fresh air in the early mornings, be it by the sea, on a mountain or hilltop or in open countryside or gardens. The more we concentrate on the scents and smells in the air the more we realise the joys of just being there.

If the lungs and blood system can be made stronger by methods of breathing then the whole body and immune system will become stronger as a result and disease (“dis-ease”), will be less likely to inhabit the body.

There are many breathing exercises available. I learned the following technique during my martial arts training, and it is ideally practiced outside in the fresh air, or at least by an open window.

1 Take a few moments to relax, and allow your awareness to focus on your breath.

2 Breathe in slowly through the nose.

3 Mentally count for the length of the intake until the lungs are comfortably full.

4 The number of the count is not important, it is only a guide to keep each stage of equal length.

5 Hold the breath in for the same count as the inbreathing.

6 Let out the breath for the same count as the inbreathing.

7 Hold the lungs empty for this same count.

This completes one round.

Repeat this cycle up to six times, or for as long as you feel comfortable.

Light-headedness may be felt, especially for those not accustomed to breathing exercises. If any discomfort is felt, stop the exercise and rest.

Sit down and drink a glass of water when you have finished. Daily breathing practices will bring the greatest benefits, and more still if practiced three times a day.

If you suffer breathing, circulatory, or other medical issues, please check with your doctor that breathing exercises are appropriate for you before practicing.


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Feel free to try the technique here and enjoy the process.

Command your breathing, command your life!


Photo: Thomas Jackson/Getty Images

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