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4 Breathwork Exercises To Improve Shallow Breathing And Breathe Deeply Again

Written by: Lucy Foster-Perkins and Rachel Fearnley, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Lucy Foster-Perkins and Rachel Fearnley

Have you ever felt like your breath is not as deep or free-flowing as it should be? Do you feel you just can’t seem to get enough air in or take a full, deep breath?

Woman doing breath exercise

Shallow breathing is really common, and it’s not just a physical occurrence; it can impact your emotions and mental state. When your breath is shallow or constrained, stress, mental fog, and an overall sense of imbalance can set in.


Reacquainting yourself with deep breathing is more than a skill; it's a potent tool to tackle stress, to experience deep calm, relieve stomach issues and perform better during exercise, to name a few benefits.


Now, you might wonder, if deep breathing is so beneficial, why isn't your body doing it automatically? In short, your body has “forgotten” how to breathe deeply. Stress, whether sudden or cumulative, can create patterns that hinder your full breath. The good news is that the ability to take relaxing deep breaths can be relearnt – it just takes a bit of practice to remind your body how.


Let's explore four breathing exercises that seamlessly integrate intentional and deep breathing into your day. For all exercises, ensure you're breathing into the belly. If this feels unfamiliar, place a hand on your belly, focusing on its gentle expansion as you inhale and contraction towards the spine as you exhale.


  • Deep belly breaths: Find a comfortable spot, sit down, and inhale deeply through your nose. Feel your belly expand, exhaling slowly (through your mouth or nose) while engaging your core. Repeat, allowing the rhythm of your breath to guide you.

  • 4-7-8 breathing: Inhale quietly through your nose for four counts, hold for seven, and exhale through your mouth for eight. This technique instils a sense of balance and calmness, ideal for pre-bed relaxation.

  • Alternate nostril breathing (Nadi Shodhana): Seated comfortably, use your thumb and ring finger to alternate nostrils. Inhale through the left nostril, close it off, and exhale through the right. Repeat in reverse. This practice balances energy and clears the mind.

  • Box breathing: Envision a square or box – inhale for four, hold for four, exhale for four, and hold again for four. This structured breathing enhances concentration and induces relaxation.


Select one exercise (or more if you’re feeling inspired!) and practise it whenever you notice tightness or any restriction returning to your breath. As you incorporate these exercises into your day, you'll deepen your connection with your breath and unlock the myriad benefits of conscious breathing. It's not just about the breath; it's a journey to inner calm and self-discovery.


For a deeper dive into practical and accessible breath practices, consider joining our Online Trauma Aware Breath Coach Training here. Whether you're a newbie to breathwork or seeking

to enrich your practice, discover the joy of intentional breathing and learn how to confidently and safely pass these practices on to your family, friends and clients.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and visit my website for more info!

Lucy Foster-Perkins and Rachel Fearnley Brainz Magazine

Lucy Foster-Perkins and Rachel Fearnley, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Through their company, The Whole Health Project, Lucy Foster-Perkins and Rachel Fearnley offer online Trauma Aware Teacher Trainings in Breathwork, Meditation, Yin Yoga and Trauma Aware Facilitation. After their sell out retreats in Bali were forced to close during the pandemic, Rachel and Lucy used to their extensive experience of teaching across the world to help other coaches and teachers to harness and teach accessible healing practices of Breathwork, Meditation and Yin Yoga, with an emphasis on understanding how Trauma Aware Facilitation can be the key to helping clients reach their goals.



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