Other Breathing Patterns

Other Breathing Patterns and Exercises

So far we’ve learned some of the more known Breathing Patterns,
Today we’re going to explore three more patterns that are only used in short times and for specific jobs.

For example, to raise or lower your Heart rate, blood pressure or even the pressure inside the trunk of your body.

1-2 breathing:

1-2 breathing is one of the easiest ways of breathing.

You inhale for a set duration, shortly hold your breath and then exhale for twice as long as you breathe in.

For example:

  • Inhale for 4 seconds
  • Shortly hold your breath
  • Exhale for 8 seconds (=2×4)


This type of breathing will lower your heart rate and teach you proper breathing techniques for normal day-to-day life.

1-4-2 breathing:

1-4-2 breathing is an advanced and more beneficial way of breathing than the 1-2 breathing.

Within this breathing pattern, you will inhale for a set amount of time, hold your breath for four times the inhaling duration, and exhale for twice the inhaling duration.

For example:

  • Inhale for 4 seconds
  • Hold your breath for 16 seconds (=4×4)
  • Exhale for 8 seconds (=2×4)


This type of breathing will significantly lower your heart rate, while improving your oxygen use and lung capacity at the same time.

Square breathing:

If you are performing a square breathing pattern, you will literally breathe in a square.

The duration for your inhale, holding your breath, exhale and holding your breath are the same.

Therefore, if you follow the same code as the 1-2 or 1-4-2 breathing, this type of breathing would be 1-1-1-1 breathing.

For example:

  • Inhale for 4 seconds
  • Hold your breath for 4 seconds
  • Exhale for 4 seconds
  • Hold your breath for 4 seconds


This way of breathing will quickly lower your heart rate.

When to use which type of breathing

You just learned three different breathing patterns that will lower your heart rate, but which one is the best?

  • To lower your heart rate quickly and significantly: Square breathing
  • To increase your lung capacity and oxygen use, while at the same time lowering your heart rate: 1-4-2 breathing
  • To slightly lower your heart rate, and improve your day-to-day breathing habits: 1-2 breathing

Other breathing exercises

There is one particular muscle that helps your breathing immensely, that is the Diaphragm.

This exercise will directly train that muscle, along with several other core muscles. At the same time, it will massage your internal organs.

The exercise is called ‘Vacuum’ you perform it by following the next few steps.

  1. Lift your solar plexus up to the sky
  2. Breathe out completely, so that there is no air left in your lungs
  3. This will contract the diaphragm


You can do this exercise in several positions:

  • Standing
  • Seated
  • Bend over
  • Laying down


There are also three different ways to perform the Vacuum

  • A Vacuum-isometric hold. Hold the vacuum as long as possible
  • Vacuum-repetitions. Perform the above three steps for repetitions
  • As a moving exercise. This is for advanced practitioners only; you hold the vacuum and then roll
  • your abdominal muscles. This variant requires immense muscle control.


You now know several of the Lesser known Breathing Patterns and one of the best Exercises to train to improve your Deeper core muscles: The Vacuum

This was the fifth part in our Series on “How Breathing makes You Stronger“.

In our next Article we are going to use everything that we’ve learned and explain how to choose “What Breathing Pattern to use for which situation?


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