Integral Meditation Meditation techniques mind body connection Mindful Breathing Qi gong

Incremental Breathing – Relaxing and energizing at will

Dear  Integral Meditators,

How can you use your breathing consciously to both energize and relax yourself at will? The article below offers a simple, easy to practice technique.
For those in Singapore, a reminder that the weekly evening meditation classes start again this week, full details here. This Saturday we also have a new  Qi gong meditation workout and meditation, as well as the monthly meditation for beginners workshop.

In the breathing and feeling alive,


Incremental Breathing – Relaxing and energizing at will

Incremental breathing is a way of using the breath to both energize and or relax our mind and body. Taking a few of these breaths at regular times during our day can really make a difference to the quality of our life, as well as making us more aware and empowered regarding how we can influence the energies of our mind, body and nervous system for the better using such an easy technique. Incremental breathing can be practiced on the inhalation when we want to energize our body, and on the exhalation when we want to calm and relax our body.
Practicing either of these two forms of breathing will be enhanced if we first bring our torso’s center of gravity down low into the belly and breathe with the whole lung. I explain these two points fully in my article on Belly breathing.

Incremental breathing on the inhalation.
As you breathe in, divide your inhalation into three even lengths or ‘sips’ as follows:
Breathe into about 25% lung capacity, pause*, breathe in to about 50% of lung capacity, pause, breathe into about 75% of lung capacity, pause. By this time your lungs are comfortably full. Then, breathe a long, slow exhalation. Repeat 3-9 times.
(*the pause here should be short, a half second or one second max).
Once you have become used to the above technique, as you are inhaling incrementally, feel all the cells of your body becoming more and more energized as you inhale, so by the time you reach the top of your inbreath, your whole body feels full of Qi /energy).

Incremental breathing on the exhalation.
First take a long, measured inbreath to about 75% of your lung capacity, so that your lungs are comfortably full. Then, as you breathe out, divide your exhalation into three even lengths:
Breathe out to about 50% of lung capacity, pause, breathe out to about 25% of lung capacity, pause, empty remaining air from lungs, pause. Repeat 3-9 times.
Once you have become used to the basic process of incremental breathing on the outbreath, as you breathe out incrementally, feel your whole body becoming progressively more and more relaxed.

Once you have practised them individually, you can combine these two techniques together, so that you are breathing in incrementally to energize your body and mind, and then breathing out incrementally to relax your body and mind. The result is a very pleasant combined experience of energy and relaxation that we can take into and use in our life.

For the insomniacs among you, this type of breathing, particularly breathing incrementally on the exhalation can be good to combine with the ”Hands on the belly to relax the brain”technique in the article I published in July. Enjoy your breathing!

© Toby Ouvry 2018, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation AsiaOngoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Begins 14/15th September – Effortless effort – Insight meditation for self-healing and transformation – a five week course

Monday 6.15-7.15 & Wednesday 12.15-1.15 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday 11th August, 9-10.15am – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Saturday 11th August, 11am-12.30pm – Get Your Meditation Practice Started Now – The Shortest and Most Time Effective Meditation Workshop Ever

Saturday 18th August, 9.30-1pm – Meditations for Developing the Language of Your Shadow Self Workshop

Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology