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Inhale as much air as you possibly can on each inhale. Allow the air to travel from your belly up to your chest and head. Fill the lungs completely.
Exhale quickly through the mouth and leave some air in the lungs. Keep around 20% of each breath in your lungs on each exhale.
If you feel light-headed at any point, stop immediately. Use this pattern once or twice a day maximum. Always be sure to balance out energizing patterns with relaxing patterns.
By increasing blood oxygenation, this breathing technique triggers the release of several hormones that increase feelings of alertness and focus: epinephrine and cortisol. Cortisol in high amounts can be dangerous, so it’s important to use this pattern in moderation.
Mouths are for eating, noses are for breathing. Nose breathing leads to warmer, cleaner air, which helps prevent allergies and illness. It is also up to 18% more efficient than mouth breathing and leads to a 6x increase in nitric oxide. Benefits of nitric oxide include:
Diaphragmatic (belly) breathing is up to 7x more efficient than chest breathing when it comes to oxygen delivery. Allow the belly to rise on each inhale for optimal results.
After 10-15 rounds of this technique, hold the breath for an added boost. Full breaths followed by intermittent breath holds have been shown to improve immunity, decrease stress and improve performance (Source).
The full 5-second inhale followed by a short 2 second exhale increases blood oxygen levels. When blood oxygen levels increase, the body begins to prepare for action. It releases epinephrine, a hormone that helps you feel energized and alert. Because epinephrine is a stress hormone, this pattern should be used in moderation and only when you need it. Balance it with other relaxing patterns like our Stress & Anxiety technique or Box Breathing.
Other Sources: Breath by James Nestor and Oxygen Advantage by Patrick McKeown.