Breath retention techniques

Anthony Golden
Breath retention techniques

Apart from the most well-known techniques used in breathing, which are relaxation techniques, there are excitation techniques, known but just as important. On the other hand and still more unknown, we can find the techniques of breath retention.

Here we explain how to carry out some of them and what they can be useful for.

Slow, deep breathing with retention

Remember that at least 1 hour and 30 minutes must pass from the last meal. This method can go a long way towards dispelling negative feelings and replacing them with positive ones. He also acts in the face of melancholy and "lack of desire to do things". Doing so is discouraged for those with lung and heart problems.

In this exercise, you try to breathe in deeply slowly, and then try to retain the air as long as possible in the lungs, then slowly expel it. The effect of this exercise varies a lot depending on who practices it, and it is very suitable to be used in psychological therapy. Although it tends to produce a better mood and more energy in whoever executes it, you have to be very careful about one thing: the retention time, which should not be too long. We will know that normally because the natural and logical sensation of wanting to expel the trapped air will be noticed..

A rule to comply with that we must bear in mind is that, unless you have a qualified instructor and there is no medical problem that prevents it (consult a doctor if necessary), you should not exceed 90 seconds of retention , by no beginner.

You should never hold your breath for longer than indicated, unless you are under the supervision of someone more advanced, as it could have very serious irreversible negative effects on the body very easily, and especially on the brain. Thus, it should never be done in a self-competitive spirit of "trying to beat my record", "endure more and more", etc. and other similar errors because it would be very dangerous without expert advice, (do not forget that only one occasion of error is enough for a disease to occur). This technique needs attention, as it requires good use of concentration to do it optimally. Logically it is a good practice to train this ability to concentrate, which it also helps to develop. Otherwise it usually causes a sensation of pleasantness and of feeling better, very noticeable and enormously useful..

Holding breath with visualization

This exercise, as it is characterized by a relatively long retention time with full lungs, makes it much easier for the performer to concentrate on the respiratory process during that retention time, which helps and greatly facilitates its control, even outside the moments of practice. It is done in the same way as the slow and deep breathing exercise with retention, just add the following: Pay great attention to the trapped air and try to make an effort to notice how that excess air nourishes the body and is absorbed by the blood in the lungs . Try to feel the energetic and life-giving power of said air and how it radiates to the whole body and also to our mind and brain. Notice "how it strengthens us".

It is advisable to form the mental image that at that moment one is "squeezing the air" into one or into the lungs, taking out all its vitalizing properties, filling us with energy. If done correctly, after a few minutes you will most likely notice an “energetic” feeling in yourself. That is, one will feel as if one is "full" or "filling up" with energy. It is about feeling, or rather, about "realizing", "being aware", about "becoming aware" of the power of the air. It will be a very positive sensation that will make the person feel really good, and that can include various sensations such as those described or others such as joy, calm, well-being, peace, security, etc. The subject must learn to discover its effect on himself. Helps to be stronger, clearer and less noticeable fatigue.


Van lysebeth, A. (1985). Pranayama. To serenity through Yoga. Ediciones Urano, S.A. Barcelona

Davis, M .; Mckay, M. and Eshelman, E. (1985). Emotional self-control techniques Ed. Martínez Roca. Barcelona - Ramacharaka (1993). Hindu-yogi science of breath. Ed. Humanitas. Madrid.

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