Formal breathing exercises don’t feature much at all in Rebirthing Breathwork. There is one though that is an excellent introduction to the Conscious Connected Breathwork process, and a great free tool you can use to energise yourself or relieve stress through the day.
20 Connected Breaths
It’s very simple really: four groups of five connected breaths – twenty breaths in total.
Each ‘breath’ includes an inhale (in-breath) and an exhale (out-breath). Connect them by ensuring you leave no gaps between the inhale and the exhale. Use either mouth breathing (mouth open) or nose breathing (mouth closed) but don’t mix the two.
Here are the steps:
1. Relax yourself as much as you can in the circumstances you find yourself in. Sit down, if possible, and make yourself comfortable.
2. Take four connected breaths at a pace that suits you. Let the inhale merge into the exhale and the exhale merge into the inhale, and the inhale merge into the … yeah, you’ve got it.
3. Then take one big breath, filling up your whole body. Let it release like a sigh on the exhale and relax your body even more. Remember, no gaps.
(You’ve now completed the first cycle of five connected breaths.)
4. Without pausing, do the cycle three more times, keeping it all connected.
Here’s a demonstration by Leonard Orr:
- Relax the exhale. Don’t force it.
- Allow your breath right up into your chest – an area we often neglect to breathe into.
- Stay focused on your body. Notice what effect the breathing’s having on you, physically, emotionally … whatever.
- I recommend nose breathing, as it calms down your nervous system. Mouth breathing is more activating, which is good if it’s more of a buzz that you’re after.
- Don’t rush it. Choose a pace that’s comfortable and enjoyable for you. And if you want to try speeding it up a bit later, see what that feels like.
Experiment for yourself. Notice how it feels, and what works best for you. If you like the twenty connected breaths exercise, then use it a couple of times a day, or whenever you need to come back to your body or calm yourself down.