Alternative Breathing Techniques

Posted by Heart Niagara on

by Cindy VanDyke 

Now that you know about some simple everyday breathing techniques, here are some other breathing techniques that can you can use in your day-to-day life when things get too overwhelming. 

Strengthening the Abdominals

Purse your lips and pretend you are blowing through a straw. Feel the muscles contract and work in your core area. This strengthens, massages, and invigorates your organs.

Now let’s learn how to take a full breath. A lot of the breath is in the rib and back of your body. It is done in three parts. First, place your hand on your belly as you inhale; feel it rise, then move your hands to the sides on your ribs; feel them expand out like an accordion. Then place your hand on your sternum and feel it lift out away from your back or your spine.

This is called the complete breath. All three areas open, making space inside.


In yoga, we learn a lot about breathing techniques. It is called pranayama. Prana is energy.

We have already done a yoga breath called nadi shodhana. That was the breath through one nostril at a time, and is used for clarity, balance, and calmness. I’ve also shown you the kapalabhati breath, used for increasing and maintaining energy, where we used our diaphragm to pump more than once on an exhale to push stale air out and inhale deeper. You can learn how to do these breathing techniques in the post: Gaining Energy & Clarity Through Breathing.

There is also a breath called ujjayi, or the "ocean breath." There is a vibrational sound in the back of the throat as you breathe in and out through the nose. This breath brings us focus and control. We learn it by making the sound of a deep whisper and as we repeat the breath it sounds like the waves of the ocean, powerful and steady.

This brings us to the bee breath! To release a busy brain, we have the bee breath. This one is interesting, and you will want to do it when you are alone. Think of a child that plugs his ears and makes sounds when he doesn't want to hear anything. Well, in a similar fashion, we plug our ears with our fingers, close our eyes, and hum loudly while we inhale and exhale. The longer we do this, the deeper the hum gets and the longer and slower our inhale and exhale get. Our worries, thoughts, and monkeys will leave our brain. This is a great busy brain cure.

Transformational Breath

There is a technique called conscious connected breathing or the transformational breath. This is used in the world of psychiatry and by cultures with shamans.

You breathe in and out through the mouth with absolutely no pause after the inhale or exhale. It is not done fast, so it is not hyperventilating. It produces a reaction to move energy through the body to break down energy blockages and holding patterns that we all have whether they be physical, emotional, or energetic. This technique has been perfected by Dr. Stanislav Grof from Czechoslovakia and has helped thousands of people release emotional and mental pain held in their bodies.

We have only covered the tip of the iceberg regarding breathing techniques. There is so much to learn and share about this function (breathing) that we all do and never seem to think about unless struggling with a respiratory illness. I hope you found a breathing technique in this article that you can use to help yourself or someone you know boost your immunity and decrease stress.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in blog entries are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Heart Niagara.



1 comment

  • Another beneficial Cindy blog! Good information. Thank you. Thanks for the reminders to practice more yoga breaths. Good stuff.

    Judy on

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