The Purist’s top tips for better breathing

Breathwork is essential during physical exercise, but can also offer benefits all throughout the day. Find out how to get the most out of it.

Breathing is a natural bodily function, but there are many ways that we can practise it mindfully in order to listen to our bodies more attentively. The idea here is to focus on a feeling of kindness in order to lower cortisol, the stress hormone.

4-7-8: a simple technique

Practised standing up, lying down, relaxing in bed or even during your commute, this is the ideal technique for instant stress relief wherever you are.

1 : Breathe in for 4 seconds.

2 : Hold your breath for 7 seconds.

3 : Breathe out for 8 seconds.

Every time you feel the signs of stress coming on, you can repeat these steps for 3 minutes or less.

It is often said that babies have the most natural breathing patterns. And rightly so, because we breathe from our bellies right after we are born. Indeed, as babies, it is our belly (and not our rib cage) that expands when we inhale. This practice becomes less natural as we grow, but it offers multiple benefits by maximising the potential of our diaphragm. To practise it, start by breathing in through the nose. Your nostrils will warm up the air as you inhale. Then, exhale slowly through the mouth until your lungs are empty. As you do this, take the time to observe your belly, placing one hand on it flat in order to mimic the body’s natural movements. Remember that the belly should expand as you inhale, then fully empty as you exhale.

3 better breathing practices from The Purist

1 : Breathwork, to help you fully master your respiratory function.

2 : Meditation, to let you take time out of your fast-paced life in order to breathe.

3 : Mindful walking, to allow you to (re)gain control of your body and its movements.