Breathwork Challenge

Breathing Challenge 2024


Do not undertake this program if you have moderate to severe psychiatric or medical conditions that could be exacerbated by participating, such as heart disease, glaucoma, history of seizures, pregnancy, psychosis, suicidality, bipolar disorder, or substance use disorders.

You may quit the program at any time and if you feel unwell while performing the exercise you should stop immediately and seek medical advice urgently.

Program starts: Monday 15 January 2024

Program ends: Sunday, 11 February 2024

Recording your Results

Please keep a diary that records your results from the challenge. Think of yourself as a curious scientist – record what you measure and observe without trying to guess what the results should be or what you might think I want them to be.

If you wear a wrist device that records heart-rate, blood pressure, respiration rate, sleep data and other health information, please let me know.

Each day, record:(Use the Online Feedback Form)

  1. Whether you completed the breathing exercise
  2. How long you maintained the breath pattern and how easy it was (1- very easy, 5- very difficult)
  3. How many hours of sleep you had and your assessment of the quality of the sleep
  4. Record your breathing rate before and after the breathing exercise (Count how many breaths you take in a 1-minute period – 1 inhale + 1 exhale = 1 breath)
  5. If you wish, you may complete the attached PANAS Schedule and/or STAI Form before and after the exercise (if you submit the forms I will send you your scores).


Each week, make a note of anything else that seems to have changed since starting the program.


Sharing Results

You may choose to record your results purely for your own information or share them with me at ActiveQi.

If you choose to share them, I undertake to keep your information safe, and only use it for the purpose of aggregating anonymised data for scientific understanding. I will share the results of the study via Qi News, the newsletter that occasionally we send out to members. All data that can be traced to you will be destroyed by 30 April 2024.

Instructions – Cyclic Sighing

Sit in a chair or, if you prefer, lie down, and set a timer for 5 min.

  1. Inhale slowly, and once your lungs have expanded, inhale a second time to completely fill your lungs  as much as possible — even if the second inhale is shorter in duration and smaller in volume than the first. (Ideally, both inhales should be through the nose)
  2. Then slowly and fully exhale all your breath. (Ideally, exhaling via the mouth but can be via the nose if you prefer)
  3. Repeat this pattern of breathing for 5 minutes
  4. Return to breathing normally.

If you are uncertain about the exercise instructions, then watch this Youtube clip:

Establishing a New Habit

My top tip for adding a new habit to your daily routine (so that you can complete the 28-day Challenge easily) is called ‘Habit Stacking’. Find an activity that you do every day and add the breathing exercise either immediately before, or immediately after, so that your existing habit is the trigger for the new one.


Any problems, questions, comments, suggestions: email me –, or WhatsApp me – 07747 863009.