Butterfly breathing

In this exercise, I hyperventilate mainly by speed. I inhale and exhale rapidly, pushing my chin by opening and closing my clasped hands. I then hold my breath. The exercise pulls me between two extremes and prepares me for future challenges.

How I exercise ‘butterfly breathing’:


  • I sit comfortably with a straight back, relax my tongue and jaw, and close my eyes.
  • Interlace my fingers and place my hands under my chin, my elbows pointing away from my body.
  • Reset my breathing if needed.
  • Breathe exclusively through the nose, using mainly chest for breathing.
  1. Inhale rapidly, pushing my chin up; my head tilts to the back, with my elbows pointing down.
  2. Exhale, with the interlaced fingers staying under the chin and elbows pointing to the sides; my head leans forward.
  3. Continue until I reach the ‘hyperventilation-response threshold’ with the response sensations on the tip of my tongue.
  4. Exhale fully and hold my breath until I gently reach ‘air hunger start.’

Note: The intensive back-and-forth tilting of my head makes it more challenging to identify my tongue sensation.

My elbows move up and down as I alternate between exhaling and inhaling. My arms create two triangles that flap—similar to a butterfly’s wings.