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.
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.
One minute of box breathing
Two minutes of box breathing
Three minutes of box breathing
Four minutes of box breathing
Five minutes of box breathing
Six minutes of box breathing
Seven minutes of box breathing
Read Stuart's expert article (also found below this) for more science behind box breathing. Good luck!