Breathing Exercises: How Should I Sit?

Okay, so you know breathing exercises can help you calm down and get to a place where you can think critically and clearly about how to best respond to the stressful situations around you. 


But do you ever wonder if you’re doing it right?


I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the “right” way to breathe and I want to share some of my answers, but I also want to emphasize a successful breathing practice isn’t really about doing it “right”; it’s about finding what works best for you!    


That being said, here’s one of the tips I have for maximizing the benefits of your breathing exercises. 


Start with your posture and position. 


To fully access your deepest breath, sit up nice and straight: 


  • Are your ears above your shoulders? 
  • Are your shoulders above hips? 
  • Have you uncrossed your legs? 
  • Are your feet firmly on the floor? 


And my final recommendation: Do you have one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest? As you breathe in, push your belly out into your hand, and as you breathe out, allow the belly to fall back towards the spine. The hand on your chest should have as minimal movement as possible, so you are using the belly to breathe deeply and access your sense of calm. 


From there, you’re ready to begin your breathing exercise! 


A beneficial breathing practice doesn’t demand perfect posture, but strategic posture will let you access the sense of relaxation and calm you’re seeking. Adjust your positioning as needed to feel confident and comfortable as you breathe. 

Interested in more guidance on how to develop a regular breathing practice and how breath and movement can help you relax and focus throughout your day? Check out my Cost of Care Course intended for helping professionals and anyone else looking for tools to cope with their stress.


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Feeling stressed out & psychologically unsafe at work?

Check out our guides!

The Mako Method™ Resource Guide for Stress Management

Download our resource guide and learn over 50 ways you can use quick breathing exercises, affirmations, gratitude, journaling, and perspectives practices throughout the day to manage your stress and create psychological safety at work.


The Mako Method™ for Psychological Safety – The Ultimate Checklist

Download our free checklist to learn our framework of best practices for creating and experiencing more Psychological Safety at Work. 

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