What do we mean when we say “Breathe Less”? For some people this direction is perplexing. This food analogy helps.
Imagine that you are hungry but would like to reduce your food consumption. Visualize an apple divided
into four parts. You reach out, grab the first slice and eat it. Are you still hungry? Yes. Then, you reach for the second slice and the third one… Are you still hungry? Maybe… yes… but not that much anymore… Then leave the last piece alone.
Buteyko Breathing Method Exercise
Based on this imagery, try to reduce your inhalation by approximately one fourth. Of course, air is not an apple and cannot be easily divided into parts. ‘One forth’ is a reference point reminding you to reduce your inhalation just a little bit. If you reduce it too much, you will create stress, which always increases breathing.
In a way, breathing is analogous to eating. When we try to lose weight, we control what we put into our bodies, not what comes out. The same with breathing: control your inhalation but leave the exhalation alone.
Earlier in this blog, I mentioned that once I carried out a breathing exercise throughout a whole day of travelling. It was “Breathe Less”. From my perspective, this exercise is one among the most difficult since it requires constant awareness. I was taught this exercise by Ludmila Buteyko who is very good at carrying it out throughout her whole life.