Here’s a simple practice that you can use as a warm up to any training session or use it as a stand-alone exercise.
5-step Walking Breath-holds
- Walk at an easy pace (preferably in nature) and bring your focus to your breathing
- Keep the lips lightly touching and tip of the tongue gently resting in the ridge behind the top front teeth
- Be aware of soft, easy, rhythmical, deep (but not big) breathing
- Allow you breathing to happen rather than do anything
- Bring a sense of calmness throughout the whole body
- Now, after a normal breath in and normal breath out, pinch your nose and pause the breath for five steps
- After five steps breathe easy again in and out through the nose
- Once the breath has fully recovered (it shouldn’t take too long, perhaps 10 steps), pinch and pause again for 5 steps
- Repeat pausing (or holding) the breath for 5 steps for about 10 minutes.
You should feel a sense of light air hunger but this should not be stressful, in fact quite the opposite. If it feels stressful you could shorten the breath pause (say 2-3 steps) or increase the recovery between each pause.
If you feel faint or dizzy, stop this exercise. As with any exercise if you have any doubts about doing it please consult your GP. If you are pregnant do not practice any breath-hold exercises unless under the guidance of a certified Oxygen Advantage Coach.