Reverse forward

In this exercise, I alternate between forward (normal) breathing and reverse (paradoxical) breathing. The exercise improves my breathing diversity and my ability to maintain balance.

How I exercise ‘reverse–forward breathing’:


  • I sit comfortably with a straight back, relax my tongue and jaw, and close my eyes.
  • Reset my breathing if needed.
  • Breathe diaphragmatically and exclusively through my nose.
  1. For two counts, inhale, inflating to maximum diaphragm amplitude.
  2. For four counts, exhale; my diaphragm returns to its neutral dome shape.
  3. For two counts, inhale, engage my abdominal muscles, push my stomach backward towards my spine.
  4. For four counts, exhale, releasing my abdominal muscles, my navel moves away from the spine, and my diaphragm moves to its neutral dome shape.
  5. Hold my breath until I gently reach the point of ‘air hunger start.’
  6. Repeat for a few rounds.

On Steps 3 and 4, my breathing reverses; my stomach moves as if I’m exhaling when I inhale. The breath-holds that follow prevent me from getting into a hyperventilation state.