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Transformational breathing exercises to reduce stress

We all breathe all the time. Breathing is that simple. Yet the secret of life and healing, contained within the breath, is almost always remote from our everyday awareness. The special techniques presented in The Healing Breath allow you to strengthen your link with life force through the breath. The natural side effects will be healing on all levels of your being, enhanced good health, energetic balance, a new self-awareness, heightened consciousness and the ability to help others. You will discover that the secret of healing is the breath. Jack Angelo, author of The Healing Breath, provides simple breathing exercises to start you on your journey.




Being aware of a person’s breathing has always been an integral part of my healing practice, and it has been a large focus in my work with groups. As a practitioner, I sense how the availability of the healing life force to another person is enhanced through conscious breathing. Further, the availability of the healing life force is proportional to a person’s awareness of the sacred source of energy within the breath. This is crucial for our own healing and for those with whom we may work.


To get the most out of your breathing exercises:
• Try to find a quiet place, inside or outdoors, for your practice.
• Sit or stand in a comfortable position, with your spine straight.
A comfortable standing posture can be just as effective as
sitting, resulting in a relaxed body and a relaxed mind, where
you are able to observe how your body is feeling, how you are
breathing, and what is going on around you, without becoming
distracted by your observations.
• Breathe through your nose whenever possible.
• Close your eyes or choose something in your surroundings on
which you can gently focus.
• Develop a passive yet confident and positive attitude, and
enjoy the feelings of detachment from stress that come with
effective breathing practice.


Full-breath breathing – the ideal
This is the key exercise in the book and the foundation for most of the exercises that follow. Once you have fully understood it and can practise it at will, it will become your Breath of Unity and the basic breath of self-healing. Full-breath breathing allows your abdomen, as well as your chest, to fully expand when you inhale and to contract inwards as you exhale. All the muscles of respiration are involved. This way of breathing opens your awareness to your moment-by moment unity with the Source and re-educates your physical body about efficient energy breathing, and thus maximises your ability to take in available energies and to expel what is no longer required.


Full-breath breathing rebalances the whole system, realigns all aspects of your being and encourages the flow of healing energies. It is an essential self-healing activity to improve breathing capacity and rhythm and benefit your entire physical system.
• Sit comfortably in a chair, with your feet flat on the ground
and your back straight. If necessary, lift your head until you
can feel it aligned with your back. Let your hands rest comfortably
on your thighs or in your lap.
• Be aware of your breathing. Allow it to become slow, deep
and gentle.
• Notice what your chest and abdomen are doing. As you
breathe in your normal, habitual way, which part of your body
is moving the most?
• In full-breath breathing, the focus is on the movement of the
abdomen, rather than the chest. Put your hands on your
abdomen and imagine it is a balloon you are going to fill with
your breath and then empty.
• As you slowly inhale through the nose, allow your ‘balloon’ to
fill by letting your abdomen gently expand, without straining.
• Exhale slowly and feel the balloon of your abdomen deflate,
without straining.
• Practise this exercise two more times, noting the difference
between the in-breath and the out-breath, and how you feel as
you breathe like this.
After several weeks of practising full-breath breathing, and of
raising your awareness through repeated remembrance of the
sacred nature of the breath, you should find that you have an
increased facility within your body to receive and give life energy
through the breath.


The Balancing Breath
Known to many yoga practitioners as the Sun and Moon Breath, or Alternate Nostril Breathing, the effectiveness of this exercise is based on the fact that the two subtle polarity channels rise up on either side of the etheric body, converge, and end near the relevant nostril.
• Sit comfortably in a chair, with your legs and arms uncrossed.
Make sure that your back and neck are straight with your head
held erect but relaxed.
• Take three full breaths. Place the first two fingers of your right
hand to the side of your right nostril and press gently to close
it. Breathe in through the left nostril slowly and normally.
Hold this breath for a count of three.
• Transfer the first two fingers of your right hand (or you can
change to your left hand if you prefer) to the side of your left
nostril to gently close it. Breathe out through the right nostril
slowly and normally. Count to three.
• Breathe in through the right nostril. Hold this breath for a
count of three. As you hold your breath, transfer your fingers
to your right nostril, close it, and breathe out through your left
nostril. This completes one breathing cycle.
• After completing the cycle slowly and gently, six times, sit
quietly for a few moments. Let yourself become aware of
the balance of energies in your body. Allow yourself to feel
gratitude for this feeling of renewed health. The attitude of
thankfulness after practising any exercise enhances its effects
and sends a positive affirmation to the mind.


Jack Angelo D.Litt. is a well-known healer and teacher of subtle energy medicine and natural spirituality, who has worked with individuals and groups for over 25 years.  He lectures and gives workshops in the UK and abroad for health-care professionals and the general public, and also runs popular courses for the National Federation of Spiritual Healers.