Top Breathing Exercises for Meditation

Here are some of the top breathing exercises for meditation, so you can benefit your emotional, spiritual and mental health
Woman meditation yoga, monotone

Top Breathing Exercises for Meditation

Everyone knows that taking deep breaths is often the best way to relieve stress, but did you know that it is also a form of meditation? Experts say that breathing exercises actually go back thousands of years. Breathing exercises can help you to relieve stress, sharpen your memory, treat depression, help you to sleep better and it can even improve your heart health too. There are thousands of forms of meditation out there, and each one will come with different breathing techniques that you can use to achieve the desired result.

Source: Pexels (CC0 License)


Breathing exercises like this actually stem from Buddhism and it encourages you to become aware of your deep breathing so that you can be more in the present moment.

If you can focus on breathing exercises such as this, then you may find that you are able to improve your concentration level and you can also reduce the trajectory that accompanies age-related cognitive decline. If you want to do this breathing exercise then you need to try and feel the weight of your body through the seat, or the floor.

How to Use the Shamatha Method

Straighten your back and fixate on something in front of you, Feel the rise and fall of your belly too. Belly breathing is a very good breathing technique and if you can focus on this, you will be able to tune into yourself more, seeing each breath you take as a unique act that is connecting your body together. Techniques like this have been medically reviewed in the past and they have found that pursed lip breathing, chest breathing, and belly breathing are all very good ways of relieving stress.


This technique is known as diaphragm breathing. It stems from Hinduism and it focuses on the moving energy in your body. The diaphragm is one of the most effective muscles you have when it comes to breathing and if you can use this technique, then you will soon find that you can take in more air, while also forcing more oxygen to leave your lungs. This breathing technique is very good for those who have COPD and it helps to ease shortness of breath.

How to Use the Kundalini Method

If you want to adopt this way of breathing, then you need to lie on your back. You then need to place a hand on your chest, placing the other on your stomach. Breathe in through your nose and focus on the deep breaths that fill your lungs as opposed to the shallow ones that simply fill your chest. This breathing exercise has been medically reviewed and it is one of the best ways for you to practice deep breathing efficiently.

Nadi Shodhana

This form of deep breathing also stems from Hinduism. Nadi Shodhana is also known as alternate nostril breathing. Alternate nostril breathing is one of the many breathing exercises out there, and it has also been medically reviewed.

How to Use the Nadi Shodhana Method

When you do this exercise, you will need to breathe through one nostril at a time. You close the other nostril manually. Techniques like this can be done with your knees slightly bent, sitting up. If you can practice breathing exercises like this, you will soon find that you can be more in tune with your own breathing pattern. This is also one of the best relaxation techniques if you want to relieve pressure or stress from your upper chest.


Breathing exercises like this involve deep breathing until you are able to unite your mind and body. You need to focus on your deep breathing techniques until your breath becomes soft. You’ll essentially be listening until you can hear your breath quieten.

How to Use the Zhuanqi Method

Sit in a comfortable position and keep your eyes half-closed. You then need to fixate on the point of your nose. If you want to use your abdominal muscles, then you need to place your hand on your stomach. Place the other one on your chest and breathe deeply. Watch your hands move, the goal is to have your abdomen hand move in and out. Exhale slowly and watch your breathing pattern, taking note of your belly breathing so that you can tweak it accordingly. This is one of the many breathing exercises that has been medically reviewed, and it is also a very good way for you to reduce stress. If you have tried and failed with other breathing exercises before, then this breathing technique could be the one that works for you.

Kumbhaka Pranayamas

This breathing exercise stems from Hinduism and it involves you following an intermittent breathing pattern. You will need to exhale slowly and then hold your breath, for a period of time that is shorter than your exhaling and inhaling period. Holding air in your lungs can help you to prevent issues with your metabolism because it helps you to change the rate at which your body burns oxygen. If you exhale slowly and if you follow this simple breathing technique, then you will soon find that you can reduce stress while also giving your immune system a good boost.

How to Use the Kumbhaka Pranayamas Method

If you are ready to do this exercise, then sit with your spine completely upright. Let all of the air out of your lungs and then close your lips. When you have done this, use your nose to inhale until your lungs feel full. Hold it for between 3 and 5 seconds, before releasing.

The Art of Meditation

All in all, it doesn’t matter if you are experienced in the world of meditation or whether you are just trying to adopt some new breathing techniques so that you can take advantage of the short-term benefits it has to offer because meditation can offer many benefits. It can help you to relieve stress and it can also help you to boost your overall mental health. If you need help meditating then remember, there are apps out there and many of them are designed to give you the guidance you need to not only meditate properly but also learn about how your breathing impacts your emotional health. Check them out today to find out more.

Picture of Ryan Abbott

Ryan Abbott

Founder of Urban Ice Tribe

Illustration of muscle growth and recovery
Ice Baths
Ryan Abbott

Do Ice Baths Increase Testosterone Levels?

Do ice baths increase testosterone? The scientific verdict is still out. Dive into this article where we dissect leading research and unlock insights into how cold exposure may—or may not—affect your testosterone levels.

Read More »
A person swimming in icy water
Cold Water
Ryan Abbott

Exploring the Chill Factor: Why Does Cold Water Immersion Boost Cardiovascular Health?

Why does cold water immersion boost cardiovascular health? Immersing in cold water causes your heart rate to rise and blood vessels to constrict, increasing blood pressure. But over time, this acute stress can lead to improved blood pressure and heart function. This article delves into the surprising cardiovascular benefits your body gets from these cold-triggered adaptations, so let’s take a deeper exploration of the cold’s embrace on heart health.

Read More »