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There are four phases to the breath: 1) Inhalation 2) Pause 3) Exhalation and 4) Pause again before your next inhalation. By controlling these phases you can activate and increase different energies to support you in whatever you need to do. As you begin to understand how this works, you will realize how powerful and useful this simple technique can be. I learned this Huna breathing technique in a training from the Huna Research Institute.
Looking at the picture, we see four elements and the four phases of the breath. The way to increase one energy in particular is to change the ratio of the breath.
An even ratio would be 1:1:1:1. Breathing in this way you would take a slow deep breath inhaling for one count, pausing for one count, exhaling for one count, pausing for one count before your next breath. Always place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth when breathing intentionally like this. If each breath was 4 seconds, then you would inhale for four seconds, pause for four seconds, exhale for four seconds, pause for four seconds. Everyone is different. Perhaps you’re more comfortable with a three second breath, or two, or five. Find what works best for you.
So, breathing in an even ratio of 1:1:1:1 would be balancing.
If you want to increase your energy, you increase the Fire element 2:0:1:0. This is known as the fire breath and would increase the fire element in you, energizing you. I also think it would increase your metabolism and burn blood sugar, but that is for you to find out.
If you want to calm yourself, use 1:1:2:0. This type of breathing is often used in Yoga and has been called the Breath of Enlightenment. It is very relaxing.
To ground yourself, increase the Earth element 1:1:1:2.
Practice with different ratios and combinations to find out what works best for you. As with anything Huna, you are the one who decides what works best for you not someone else.