Asthma Breathing Recovery with The Buteyko Method

The Breathing Recovery Exercise – sometimes called “many short holds” – is a Buteyko Breathing Method exercise that is essential exercise for managing asthma. It involves a series short breath holds performed while seated.

These brief breath holds aim to increase tolerance of carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the blood, promoting better breath function and overall respiratory function.

This exercise is used to help prevent the onset of asthma symptoms as well as recover functional breathing after coughing, physical exertion, or moment of high stress.

How to perform Asthma Breathing Recovery

  1. Find a Comfortable Position: Sit or stand in a relaxed position, ensuring your back is straight.
  2. Close Your Mouth: Keep your mouth gently closed throughout the exercise, emphasising nasal breathing.
  3. Gentle Exhalation: Take a gentle and calm breath in through your nose, and then exhale softly, allowing your lungs to empty naturally.
  4. Hold Your Breath: After the exhalation, hold your breath gently and comfortably for a few seconds while pinching your nose closed. The breath hold should be brief – about 5-10 seconds – and should not cause any discomfort or strain.
  5. Release and Resume Breathing: Release the breath hold and allow yourself to breathe naturally through your nose. Maintain relaxed breathing for 2-3 cycles before repeating the exercise.
  6. Repeat the Exercise: Practice the exercise for several repetitions, gradually increasing the number of repetitions as you become more comfortable.
The Breathing Recovery exercise is great for asthma. It is deceptively powerful and can be used both in times when asthma symptoms are building or as a tool to create a solid functional breathing foundation.
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Benefits of the exercise

  • Increased CO2 Levels: The short breath holds gently increase the concentration of CO2 in the blood, promoting better oxygen release to the body’s cells.
  • Improved Breath Control: By practicing this exercise regularly, you can enhance your ability to maintain calm and controlled breathing patterns.
  • Respiratory Efficiency: The exercise contributes to improved respiratory function and overall efficiency of oxygen utilisation.
  • Stress Reduction: Focusing on gentle breathing and brief breath holds can have a relaxing and calming effect, helping to reduce stress and anxiety.

Safety precautions

  • Gentle Approach: The exercise should be done gently without any force or strain. Avoid prolonged breath holds or excessive discomfort.
  • Certified Instruction: If you are new to the Buteyko Breathing Method or have any respiratory conditions, consider learning the technique from a qualified instructor who can provide proper guidance and support.
  • Individual Adaptation: Individual responses to the exercise may vary. If you feel lightheaded or uncomfortable, take a break and resume normal breathing.

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