Box breathing, also known as four square breathing, is a breathing technique that helps provide a feeling of calm and balance ⚖️.
This thechnique stems from pranayama, a yogic breathing technique dating back thousands of years.
In Sanskrit (ancient Indian language), “prana” means life energy and “yama” means control. Therefore, this breathing method aims at controlling life energy in order to improve its flow and balance.
How to Practice Box Breathing?
The simpler form of 4 square breathing is quite straight forward. Find a comfortable sitting position, either on a cushion with your legs crossed or on a chair. Keep your back straight and your shoulders rolled back in order to create space for your lungs and diaphragm as well as trachea. Close your eyes softly relaxing your face, tongue and eye balls. Follow the steps without forcing the breathind or holding. Give yourseff time, it might take practice but it will eventually happen.
- Gently inhale through both nostrils to a count of 4
- Hold the air for 4 (softly)
- exhale through both nostrils for 4
- Hold empty lungs for 4
Box Breathing Alternating Nostrils
In this particular instance, I alternate nostrils, therby increasing concentration.
- Inhale for 4 through your left nostril, blocking the other side.
- Hold air in your lungs for 4, blocking both nostrils.
- Exhale for 4 through your right nostril, blocking the left one.
- Hold your lungs empty for 4
Effects of Sama Vritti Pranayama
By aligning the respiration, you create balance and the concentration needed (counting, keeping track of breathing pattern) to stop mental fluctuations. Worries go away and emotional distress is reduced. Sitting straight and taking time to breathe also activates the parasympathetic nervous system, slowing your heart rate and relaxing your body.
Why not enhance this calming effect by wearing a yoga meditation necklace?