PRI Breathing Techniques

How should we breathe? Like a baby.

  • The abdomen expands first, then the chest. Don’t use the neck!
  • Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth, or in and out through the nose for quiet breathing 8 to 10 times per minute.
  • When performing breathing exercises, exhale twice as long as inhaling to recruit abdominals.


  • The bottoms of the lungs have a better blood supply, so there is good oxygen for the body.
  • The diaphragm will get a lot of use, which prevents it from becoming tight and/or dormant.
  • There will be less use of secondary respiratory muscles, and therefore less chance of neck pain, headache, shoulder pain, and back pain.
  • Posture improves as a result of all of the above. You will feel better.

Stimulation Breathing

  • Position: sitting with eyes closed and your tongue placed on the alveolar ridge (soft tissue between the teeth and the roof of the mouth).
  • Keep your mouth closed, quickly inhale and exhale through your nose.
  • Try to keep each phase short and equal. These quick short breaths will activate musculature at the base of the neck.
  • Attempt to breathe 2 cycles per second for a total of 15 seconds for the first session, then increasing total time to eventually 1 minute.

Relaxing Breathing

  • Position: sitting, on your back, standing, or walking.
  • Place your tongue on the alveolar ridge. Maximally exhale making an “ah” sound. Close your mouth and silently inhale while counting to 4. Do not exhale…hold for 4 seconds.
  • Now exhale through your mouth with an “ah” sound for 8 seconds.
  • Repeat this cycle 3 more times.

The above information is referenced from a document written by the Postural Restoration Institute®. The full document can be accessed at:

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