James Nestor Breathing Techniques

By Jon Elordi

Here are the breathing techniques recommended in James Nestor’s Breath. You should read the whole book to get a better understanding of how these breathing techniques were developed. You can read my review of his book here.

Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana)

Improve lung function, heart rate, and stress.

Close the right nostril with your thumb gently and inhale through the left nostril.
Exhale through the right.
Inhale through the right.
Exhale through the left.
Inhale through the left
Exhale through the right

Repeat this pattern all while using your thumbs to close the nostril so you can only breathe through the right or left nostril exclusively.

Breathing Coordination

Engages more movement from eh diaphragm. do not force. Each breath should soft.

Sit upright and inhale a large soft breath. As you exhale count from 1-10 quickly and keep going until your breath is empty. You start loud and then whisper as your body empties of air.

Do this 10-15 times

Buteyko Breathing Techniques

Breathing in line with our metabolic needs. This technique is more of a measure of current aerobic health. Do it once a day to see how you’re well your body handles air.

A gentle inhale and a soft exhale. Then pinch your nose and see how long you can hold your breath. It should be done comfortably a good goal is 45-60 seconds. The goal is also for your first breath after hold your breath to be an easy gentle breath.

Don’t do this while driving or doing anything dangerous.

The Conscious Breathing Anchor

Rhythmic breathing to increase Co2 tolerance

Count to six on exhale and three on the inhale. All while imagining an anchor falling through your body.

You’ll likely feel more focused after 3-5 breaths.

Decongest The Nose

Sit up straight and exhale a soft breath. Pinch your nostrils and then shake your head up and down or side to side all while holding your breath. When you feel the need to breathe inhale gently through the nose. If your nose is still congested breathe through the mouth with pursed lips.

Try to hold your breath for 30 seconds to a minute.

Yogic Breathing

Sit in a chair upright and relax the shoulders. Place one hand on the navel and breath in the belly. Inhale deeply and exhale softly. You should feel your hand move.

Next, move your hand up slightly so that it is just touching the rib cage. Breathe in deeply expanding the rib cage, and then exhale all the air out softly.

Move your hand up more to the collar bone. Breathe in high into the collar bone and then exhale out softly

Combine all three areas into one breath. Start with the stomach then into the rib cage and then into the collar bone. And exhale from the collar bone to the rib cage and then out of your stomach. Move all the breath out.

Box Breathing

Navy Seals use this. The technique to relax in combat.

Inhale to the count of 4.
Hold for 4.
Exhale for 4.
Hold for 4.

Extend box breathing to relax for sleeping:

Inhale to the count of 4.
Hold for 4.
Exhale for 6.
Hold for 2.

Do either one as long as you’d like

Conscious breathing carbon dioxide

You do this with a straw or some other way to restrict your breathing. Pursed lips are even an option.

Inhale 3
Exhale 9

4-7-8 Breathing

Places the body into deep relaxation. Exhale with a woosh.

Inhale for 4 through the nose
Hold for 7
Exhale for 8 through your month