Diaphragmatic Breathing

Cultivating the skill in noticing & improving breathing patterns to facilitate calm


Step 1 - Learning the Four Phases

Step 2 - Slowing Down

Step 3 - Finding Enjoyment

Long Version (~35min)

Short Version (~13min)

Practice Visualization



  • Sensory Clarity about one's breathing patterns

  • Retrained breathing pattern to DPB as default

  • DPB feels relaxing and calming


  • Recurring automatic relaxation and calm with every breath

  • Reduced Anxiety

  • Supports Softening Skill


  1. Lower Belly Breaths

    • Intentional gentle slow diaphragmatic breaths - pushing the lower belly out&in

  2. Ribs Breaths

    • Starting with DPB, then allowing the air to fill the ribs

  3. Complete Breaths

    • Starting with DPB, followed by ribs, then allowing the air to fill up the chest

  4. Natural Diaphragmatic Breaths

    • Letting go of any intentional breathing

    • Being curious and observing how the diaphragm naturally engages

    • Teaching the mind a calmer way of breathing, by experiencing and enjoying the relaxation from it


Lightheaded or Dizzy

  • This may be a common sign of adjustment to a new way of breathing. Pause & breathe naturally again until you feel ready, then start again.


  • This may be a sign of excessive effort. Bring an attitude of gentleness and allowing the body to welcome your suggestions, rather than of struggling or forcing.

Daily Life

  • Notice your breathing patterns throughout the day

  • When non-diaphragmatic breathing is occurring (during a non-cardiovascular activity), practice 5 gentle slow diaphragmatic breaths to retrain your breathing pattern in the moment



-Level 1 - Non-skilledLevel 2 - SkilledLevel 3 - Maturity


  • Unaware of breathing patterns

  • DBP is not default

  • Unable to engage DP

  • Breathing does not feel relaxing & calming

  • Aware of breathing patterns

  • DPB is mostly default

  • Able to engage DP

  • DBP feels relaxing & calming

  • Aware of breathing patterns

  • DPB is default in all non-cardio situations

  • DPB feels calming and relaxing

Example Being Nervous

  • Engaged in chest or 'stress' breathing which supports anxiety and discomfort.

  • Unaware of it.

  • Engaged in stress breathing

  • Aware of it & intentionally retraining breathing pattern towards DPB

  • Accessing relaxation and calm

  • DPB is engaged providing relaxation and calm.

  • Aware of it.

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