Unity Challenge: Breathe

Stuart Sandeman

Stuart Sandeman is breath coach to Olympic athletes, award-winning artists and top business execs. Through his practices Stuart has helped tens of thousands of people transform their lives.

Unity Challenge: Breathe

Adopt the simple breathwork technique used by high-performers from Navy SEALs to Olympic athletes
Adopt the simple breathwork technique used by high-performers from Navy SEALs to Olympic athletes

Unity Challenge: Breathe

There’s a powerful tool to improve your performance that you probably haven’t considered. It costs nothing, it’s accessible to everyone, and you happen to be doing it right now. Take part in this week's challenge and learn how to harness the power of your own breath.

Stuart Sandeman

Stuart Sandeman is breath coach to Olympic athletes, award-winning artists and top business execs. Through his practices Stuart has helped tens of thousands of people transform their lives.

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Stuart's 7-day box breathing challenge 

Box breathing is a breathwork practice that can help balance your O2 and CO2 levels to improve your breathing function and help increase your CO2 tolerance. It also promotes a relaxation response and improves the stability of your core and your body’s ability to tolerate intense exercise. Here's how to do it...

  • Sit in a comfortable position or lie flat on the floor.

  • Relax your shoulders.

  • Put both hands on your lower abdomen. 

  • Breathe in through your nose and into your hands for a count of four, feeling your belly rise. Note: The displacement of air and the organs downwards when using the diaphragm will make your lower belly rise naturally before your chest does. Try not to push with your stomach muscles.

  • Hold your breath for a count of four. Keep calm and relaxed. Note: Try not to tense your muscles when you’re holding your breath.

  • Exhale through your nose for a count of four, feeling your belly fall.

  • Hold your breath for a count of four.

  • Repeat.

To recap: breathe in through your nose for a count of four, hold for a count of four, breathe out through your nose for a count of four, hold for four. As your tolerance builds you can increase the counts to five then six and so on.

You may feel a strong desire to breathe more but try to resist it. This is just carbon dioxide building up in your body. What we’re aiming to do is build your tolerance, so try to keep calm and work through it. 

Day 1 One minute of box breathing

Day 2 Two minutes of box breathing

Day 3 Three minutes of box breathing

Day 4 Four minutes of box breathing

Day 5 Five minutes of box breathing

Day 6 Six minutes of box breathing 

Day 7 Seven minutes of box breathing

Read Stuart's expert article (also found below this) for more science behind box breathing. Good luck!

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