Four Bluebird-Approved Breathing Exercises to Try



Have you ever thought about your breathing? If not, now’s a good time to start! 

Though we typically breathe without consciously thinking about it, there are many benefits of engaging in intentional deep breathing exercises from time to time. Deep breathing exercises activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which controls your body’s ability to calm down after a stressful event. It also enables better oxygen flow to your muscles and brain.

Breathing exercises are a key portion of opening and closing each day during our two-week mental health reset challenge. And while we’re big fans of box breathing and belly breathing, we were also very fortunate to work with breathwork expert Jesse Coomer to bring you two specially curated breathing exercises that you can try.

Read on for Bluebird-approved breathing exercises to start and end your day!

Box breathing

Box breathing is a great entry-level breathing exercise because it’s easy to remember and gives you something to focus on (counting) while you engage in deep breathing. Get in a comfortable position, either sitting or laying down, and follow this pattern:

  1. Breathe in through your nose for a count of four
  2. Hold your breath for a count of four
  3. Exhale through your mouth for a count of four
  4. Hold your breath for a count of four
  5. Repeat

Belly breathing

Also known as diaphragmatic breathing, belly breathing is effective for slowing your heart rate and encouraging a full exchange of oxygen for carbon dioxide. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Lay down in a comfortable position
  2. Rest your hand on your belly
  3. Inhale slowly, expanding your belly like a balloon
  4. Exhale slowly through pursed lips, bringing your belly back towards your spine
  5. Repeat

Inspired Thirds with Jesse Coomer

This is an energizing breathing exercise that you can do to get your body ready to take on the day. If you’re new to breathing exercises, make sure to take a break if you start to feel lightheaded - this one can get intense!:

  1. Quick inhale, filling your belly
  2. Quick inhale, filling your lower ribs
  3. Quick inhale, filling your upper chest
  4. Exhale
  5. Repeat

4-7-8 with Jesse Coomer

This is a great exercise that facilitates meditation. We love it for winding down after a long day! Here’s how to do it:

  1. Breathe in through your nose for a count of four
  2. Hold for seven seconds
  3. Exhale through your mouth for a count of eight
  4. Repeat four to eight times, then stop or take a break

Looking for more help with your breathwork? Join The Breathwork Club!

Jesse Coomer offers virtual breathwork courses over on Patreon, where he’s building The Breathwork Club - check them out here! Or if a good ol’ book is more your speed, you can also purchase A Practical Guide to Breathwork, where Jesse covers both the basics of breathwork and how to use it to help you live your best life. Breathe on!

Remember: As with anything else, mastering your breathing can take time - and it’s certainly not a competition! It’s common for people who are new to breathing exercises to start feeling dizzy after a few rounds. If this happens, simply take a break and try again in a little while if you’re feeling up for it.