Breath deepeningThere are simple and effective ways of enhancing the movement of the breath, and in a wholly natural way. In the exercises that follow, there is no direct intervention in the pattern of breathing - that is, you are not asked to “inhale” or “exhale”. You will still be breathed, rather than breathing, throughout each process.


The first exercise is designed to promote an expansion of the chest during breathing. It is named after the iconic film character, Tarzan. This exercise - practised by Tarzan - replicates the battle-cry of apes.

   1. Stand in a relaxed pose, checking that you are evenly balanced between your right and left feet, and between your toes and heels. With eyes closed, take a few moments to become aware of the movement of the breath. Take note of how fast or slow the breath is moving, and also of where the breath is coming to and going from in your body.   

    2. Follow the breath as it goes in, observing the pause between in- and out-breath. Then, immediately after the breath has begun to move out, produce a singing ‘Aah’ sound with your voice. At the same time start tapping your chest with the fingers of both hands, or with your lightly-closed fists. The tapping should be strong enough to cause staccato-like breaks in the sound, yet not so hard as to hurt.   

  3. Be sure to cease the tapping and singing before the out-breath is completed. Rest your arms by your side as you wait for the in-breath, before resuming the practice on the next out-breath. Continue for four or five rounds.  

   4. Pause, resting your arms by your sides. Take note of how different the breath is moving now, particularly in the chest area, compared with before the singing and tapping.

If you prefer, you can do Tarzan while sitting rather than standing. You can also vary the pitch of your singing in any way you like, if you prefer using ‘Oh’, ‘Ee’ or ‘Oo’ sounds instead of ‘Aah’.   Either way it will cause the breath to move more actively in your chest area. It will also help free up any blockages at the top of the chest.