We often say to our clients “take a deep breath” or “breathe deeply”…


While that may be better than holding the breath and tensing up, often that cue can lead people to over-breathe and/or put too much effort into “taking a deep breath” therefore resulting in unnecessary tension, inefficient breathing patterns, and overuse of accessory muscles of respiration, especially if there is reduced costal expansion.


Instead try this out…


The Longer, Smoother, Softer breath regulation practice is a simple and accessible breath practice that can help people:


  • calm their nervous systems
  • reduce muscle tension
  • reduce muscle over-recruitment or unwanted muscular effort
  • change their pain
  • decrease chances of the negative physiological effects of over-breathing
  • breathe with more ease and efficiency
  • feel a sense of peace

We use this breath regulation practice in Pain Care Aware™ and I’ve shared it for many years with many patients and students. The feedback I consistently receive from people is that they really enjoy it and feel the benefits from it. I personally enjoy and practice it regularly and it’s been a game-changer in my own life!

I’ve also noticed it can help promote patience, letting go, self-trust, self-kindness, the “just right” amount of effort, presence, and improved mid-lower costal expansion and mobility.

Neil Pearson, physiotherapist and yoga therapist, developed this Longer, Smoother, Softer breath regulation practice by considering and applying his knowledge from yoga, science around pain, clinical experience, and from listening to the experiences from people in pain.

Listen to Neil guide the Longer, Smoother, Softer practice on my YouTube channel HERE – it’s free!


You can also find this practice in our Pain Care Aware™ curriculum, as well as in my Breathing in Pain Care webinar, my book chapters on Breathing and Pranayama in Pain Care and Yoga Therapy in the Management of Shoulder Conditions, and in my online courses.



(Photo credit Rafael Zamora via Unsplash)