Box breathing may be one of the most discussed types of breath work, but what exactly is it?
Box breathing is simply a designated breathing tempo. Every breath has an inhale, a hold at the top of the inhale, and exhale, and a hold at the bottom of the exhale. You do all 4 parts every time you take a breath even if the holds are minimal. Lot’s of breathing styles simply dictate how long each section should be and Box Breathing is no different.
Like the name suggests Box breathing simply means to make every “side” of the breath the same length. For instance, a common length to use is 4 seconds. This means you would breath in for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 4 seconds, exhale slowly for 4 seconds, and then again hold your breath for 4 seconds before repeating.
When done around 3 to 5 seconds it can be a very relaxing breathing style and bring you back to the present moment if your mind is racing. At the gym we often use this as a way to recover from grueling workouts.
If you desire to push yourself, however, you can also use the Box Breath as a way to build your breath holds and CO2 tolerance. To do this start with a comfortable length for each part of the breath and every 2-3 rounds add 1 second. You could start with :04 and climb from there. A goal to shoot for? How about :15 per side of the breath. That would get you to 1 breath per minute!
However you decide to use the box breath try it out for even just 5:00 and you will notice a more relaxed mood afterwards!
Learn more about our breathing offerings here