Whether you practice yoga, Tai Chi, or H.I.I.T. exercises, they all center around the same thing: breathing. Breathing properly is the core for any exercise you do. Learning how to breathe correctly can help you succeed in reaching your full potential in any exercise. While breathing is the core for each activity, each exercise has different breathing techniques to maximize your experience.

Yogic breath:

Yoga is meant to relax your body and your mind. It helps relieve stress and tensions around your body. However, breathing plays a huge role in practicing yoga correctly. There are many types of yogic breathing: abdominal, Pranayama, and Kapalabhati. Abdominal breathing allows you to breathe fully through your stomach by expanding your stomach as you inhale and fall it back down naturally as you exhale. The Kapalabhati breathing exercise cleanses your nasal passage and lungs, strengthens your lungs and stomach muscles, and cleanses your entire respiratory system. With Kapalabhati breathing you take passive inhalations through your nose followed by forceful exhalations right back out by contracting your abdominal muscles quickly. In the Pranayama breathing technique you lengthen the exhalation part of your breathing; this reduces stress and anxiety.

Tai Chi breathing:

The Mayo Clinic describes Tai Chi as “a gentle way to fight stress.” Tai Chi is often described as “meditation in motion” with its slow movements and breathing technique. In Tai Chi, you want the tip of your tongue to touch the palate of your mouth as you inhale from the nose, filling your diaphragm, then exhale from your nose. Keep the movement of your breathing going without a pause in between. Your breathing technique in Tai Chi is the storing and delivering of energy. Think as you breathe in you’re storing energy and as you exhale you’re delivering energy.

H.I.I.T. breathing:

High intensity interval training, or H.I.I.T., is a fast-paced exercise that raises your heart rate up and burns more calories. With the intensity and cardio demands in H.I.I.T. workouts, it is important to remain mindful to breathe through your workout. There are different levels of exercise intensity such as moderate, vigorous, or overexerting yourself, according to the Mayo Clinic. Your breathing quickens when you’re in a moderate level but you’re not out of breath. While vigorous exercise intensity feels challenging, your breathing is deep and rapid, it’s when you overexert yourself where you are short of breath or in pain. Know what level works for you and build your intensity level gradually.

All of these exercises are different, but they all are supported by breathing techniques that are fit for its ways. Consult with your instructor or doctor on these different breathing techniques. In conclusion, practice breathing before you begin these exercises to ensure reaching your greatest fitness potential.


Mayo Clinic “Gauging intensity by how you feel”
Tai Chi Breathing: Tips for Beginners
“A Study on How to Breathe Properly When Practicing Tai Chi Chuan”
Mayo Clinic: Why try Tai Chi?
Everyday Tai Chi: “Tai Chi breathing tips”
Breathe Easy: Relax with Pranayama
Livestrong “Types of Yoga Breathing”