Buteyko Breathing Exercise
I love the Buteyko breathing exercise technique. It was developed by Dr. Buteyko in the ’80s. It’s a technique to go into the parasympathetic nervous system (relaxation state) within 3-4 minutes!
There are four principles to Buteyko breathing:
•Breath consistent & regular
•Breath always through the nose
•Breath deep into the diaphragm
When we slow our breathing, carbon dioxide gently accumulates in the blood. The lighter you breathe through your nose, the higher the concentration of nitric oxide you bring into your lungs.
Let’s activate the parasympathetic nervous system with this simple exercise! Place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Put your attention on your breathing. Breathe softly, calmly, consciously, through your nose, and let the air out through your nose. Do it slowly. Put your attention on your breath and not on your thoughts.
Long breath Out Through Nose – Slowly release the breath over 5 seconds, using your diaphragm to empty your lungs. Hold breath after complete exhale for 5 seconds. Repeat Steps 1-4 – Take a normal, calm breath again through the nose, and repeat the entire process for several minutes.
Do that for a few minutes. If the level of saliva in your mouth has increased, it means you are doing this correctly. Your body is now in parasympathetic mode.
“With Buteyko breathing, the aim is to restore nasal breathing and normal functional breathing patterns. While practicing the Buteyko breathing exercises, the aim is to take less air into the body so that a feeling of air hunger is created. As the gas carbon dioxide is the primary stimulus to breathe, the feeling of air hunger signifies that carbon dioxide has increased in the blood. With the increase to carbon dioxide in the blood, circulation improves, and the red blood cells release oxygen more readily to the tissues and organs.”- Dr. Konstantin Buteyko
If you are stressed or overwhelmed, try this technique! You can bring your stress down within 3 minutes of trying the Buteyko technique. It will improve your blood circulation and oxygen delivery throughout the body. With regular practice over a few weeks, common complaints such as asthma, rhinitis, anxiety, panic attacks, and sleep disorders will be improved.
Click here to practice with a breathing coach. (YouTube external link).