Your Breath... Satisfaction Guaranteed!

Photo by Maria Lupan

In my work with clients, I constantly use breath as a tool: it is accessible, practical, doesn’t require much time or prior preparation, and has an immediate effect. Breath is one of the simplest and most powerful resources we have to return to our own center, inhabit the present, pause, and step out of internal states of chaos or confusion, regulate the intensity of what happens to us, and create greater security and well-being in our lives.

The multiple benefits of conscious and intentional breathing are very well-known. Many traditions and schools - from ancient practices like yoga to modern neuroscience - emphasize the importance of breathing for its countless benefits at a physical, emotional, and mental levels.

Our breathing reflects every emotional or physical effort and every disturbance. […] Everybody knows from their own experience how closely linked breathing is to every emotional change or anticipation of a strong emotion. Moshe Feldenkrais

Today, I would like to invite you to explore a practice called Square Breath that will help you focus the mind, quiet the senses, slow down the internal pace, and bring your attention to the present-present. To do this Square Breath, all you need to do is maintain the same duration (or count) during the four phases of the breath cycle, namely: inhalation, retention, exhalation, and retention. So, for example, if it takes you 3 seconds to inhale and fill your lungs completely, then your goal is to hold your breath for another 3 seconds, exhale in 3 seconds and empty your lungs, and hold your breath one last time for another 3 seconds. That would be one complete cycle.

Once you have completed one cycle, let your breath happen on its own for a few moments, without trying to control it. Take the time to observe any sensations, emotions, feelings, thoughts, or ideas that may have arisen. When you feel it’s time to continue with another cycle, simply count how long your next inhalation lasts, without forcing it. Whatever the number is, try to maintain the same count while holding your breath with full lungs, as well as when exhaling and then holding it again with empty lungs.

While exploring this practice, please be mindful of your own limits and do not push yourself or go beyond what feels comfortable for your body. It’s okay to stop when you feel it’s necessary. Remember, this is not a race or a competition. It’s an exploration. How about giving it a try now and see how it feels for you?

Square Breath Find a comfortable position where you feel you can let go and have good support.
Count how long it takes you to complete a full inhalation. 1, 2, 3… Then, simply try to maintain the same count while holding your breath with full lungs. 1, 2, 3… Hold it again while exhaling. 1, 2, 3… And once again while holding with empty lungs. 1, 2, 3… Now let the breath return to its natural rhythm.
How did it go? What is the most notable change you experienced while breathing in this way?

Please remember that as this is unsupervised work, it is essential to respect your own limits, timings, and natural rhythms.

If you realize that you need additional support during this exploration or if you have any comments or would like to join one of our exploration groups, subscribe to our newsletter or write to us at

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