Session 3: Controlled breath holding
The aim of controlled breath holding is to practise holding your breath without needing to gasp for air afterwards. As you get used to breath holding, you are less likely to feel breathless in your everyday life. When you are comfortable with controlled breath holding, click 'Unlock the next session' at the bottom of the page.
- Sit upright and well supported.
- Breathe gently in and out through your nose.
- Relax your shoulders and chest.
- Take a normal relaxed breath in and gently breathe out, using your stomach breathing.
- At the end of your breath out, pinch your nose and hold your breath.
- Keep holding your breath until you feel a very slight urge to breathe in. Then let go of your nose and breathe normally.
- The next breath should be a relaxed breath, using your stomach breathing technique. If you have to take a deep breath or gasp for air at this point, you may have held your breath for too long. This isn’t dangerous – next time you practise, try not to hold your breath for so long.
- Once you are able to hold your breath in this way, repeat it 3 more times, with a 1 minute rest in between each breath hold.
- You may find it useful to time your breath holds each week with a stopwatch or counting in your head – you can record this time in your progress chart here.
- You should aim to practise 3 to 4 controlled breath holds twice a day. Lie down in a comfortable place.