I want to preface today’s tip with the fact that everyone is different. That is why this is my most relaxing breath practice, but that doesn’t mean it will work as well for you. You will have to try it out and adjust the timing or the lengths as you go.
In general, though, the most relaxing part of the breath is the exhale. The second most relaxing part of a breath is the breath hold after you exhale. The length of time that both of these are relaxing for is highly dependent on the person and their level of tolerance for CO2. I have seen athletes stay relaxed during the breath hold for up to a minute. While others become extraordinarily stressed after only 5-10 seconds.
There are lots of different ways to use breath work to relax. Some we have already discussed. In fact just timing your breath in any way is going to help calm your mind and help you focus. However, the breath technique or cadence that works best for me personally is called Triangle Breath.
Triangle breathing is simply breathing in, breathing out, and holding your exhale all for the same amount of time. Unlike Box Breathing, there is no hold at the top of the inhale. I usually stick with somewhere between 4-7 seconds depending on how I feel. If we use 4 seconds as an example the tempo would be 4:0:4:4.
When Do I Use This?
- Any time I am feeling a little too wound up
- When I realize I’m getting annoyed or frustrated with little things
- Transitioning between tasks
- When I catch myself reliving the past or stressing about the future
Try it out and see what you think! Play around with the lengths of each side of the triangle. If you need to you can even cut the exhale hold time down while keeping the other two the same.