Before beginning any practical breathing exercises, it is useful to familiarize yourself with the three elements that make up a single breath and their relative importance in your breathing practice.  These are inhalation, exhalation, and the transition between these two actions, known as retention.  Exhalation is the focus of most breathing exercises.


When we are children, and we have a problem with someone, we get angry.  For whatever reason, that anger pushes the problem away, and we get the results we want.  It happens a second time - we react with anger - and now we know if we get angry we push the problem away.  Then we practice and practice, until we become a master of anger.