The following can help you determine your health and what type of shape you are in.
- Sitting up (no slouching or laying down) with back and spine straight yet relaxed (not stiff, tense, or rigid).
- Breathe into the belly, diaphragm, always (not into the chest) in a relaxed and relatively shallow manner (not forcing or fully inflating the lungs) diaphragmatic breaths (not with just your belly protruding out, imagine your lungs are in your back so your abdomen expands in the front and back simultaneously during inhale).
- Be very relaxed and bring yourself into normal relaxing rhythmic breathing (can count in your mind, inhale for 4 seconds, exhale for 8 seconds, to assist with this) into your abdomen (gentle diaphragmatic breathing, can place one hand on the belly and one hand on the chest to feel this) in and out through the nose, never through the mouth. Repeat gently for a minute or two, until you feel you’re at rest and feeling relaxed.
- Get your stopwatch ready.
- While remaining relaxed, take one last small normal gentle inhale (not a forced or deep or full inhale) and exhale completely yet gently (no pushing or forcing) by just letting the diaphragm relax and let the exhale go without applying effort. Once your lungs are empty, simultaneously pinch your nose, hold your breath, and start your stopwatch.
- Hold your breath until you get the first strong urge to breathe.
- Stop the stopwatch when you initiate that breath (it should be simple and relaxed, not gasping for air) in and out through your nose.
- Tip: Don’t stop your breath hold for the easy to ignore very small urges to breathe that can proceed the first strong urge to breathe again. Wait for the first strong urge. Key is to not be gasping for air or needing to do long inhales for the next couple of breaths after that first strong urge to breathe again. If that happens you need to stop your breath hold at an earlier urge to breathe.