This is a chart that illustrates the time you could apply to each stage of breathing.

INHALING

RETAINING

EXHALING

4 seconds

3 seconds

12 seconds

5 seconds

3 seconds

15 seconds

6 seconds

3 seconds

18 seconds

7 seconds

3 seconds

21 seconds

You can see that exhaling must last longer than inhaling. It is essential to empty all the air from your lungs. Try the following experiment. Push out all the air from your lungs. Pinch your nasal passages closed, keeping your mouth shut. Now, open your mouth. You can see that you still have air in your lungs to exhale.

Get into the habit of making that extra effort to empty your lungs of air.

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