As if not breathing

In this exercise, I slow my breathing drastically and ‘go deeper into my breath.’ I breathe diaphragmatically to maximum amplitude, add smiles, eliminate the breath-holds (circular breathing), and aim to breathe so slowly that I feel like being on the edge of air-hunger, wanting to draw more Air. An observer looking at my abdomen should find it challenging to detect my breathing, even though my diaphragm is engaged at maximum amplitude. I like to call it ‘breathing as if not breathing,’ or in short, ‘as if not breathing.’

How I exercise ‘as if not breathing’


  • I sit comfortably with a straight back, close my eyes, and keep my tongue and jaw relaxed.
  • Reset my breathing if needed.
  • Use diaphragmatic breathing exclusively through my nose.
  1. Inhale with a smile, and visualize cold Air, in a shade of blue, entering my nostrils while reciting my ‘Peace and quiet’ mantra
  2. Exhale while returning to a neutral facial expression, and visualize warm Air, in a shade of red, leaving my nostrils while reciting my ‘Peace and quiet’ mantra four times.
  3. Repeat the sequence (without breath-holds).


Synchronizing breathing, mantra recitation, facial expressions, and visualization stages in ‘as if not breathing’

After a period of exercising, I hold my breath as a control measure. If my breathing is slow enough, I should rapidly reach ‘air-hunger start.’ If I don’t reach it immediately, it’s an indication to slow down my breathing even further.

Since I breathe to maximum diaphragm amplitude every time, the volumes across the cycles remain approximately the same. Here, my minute ventilation is solely controlled by my breathing speed. The tempo of my mantra recitation regulates, and thus slows down, my breathing speed.

I continue exercising ‘as if not breathing’ until I manage to have a period of full concentration on the red/blue vapors. When I do, I move on to the next part of my exercising routine.