Straw breathing makes mindful breathing exercises easier by slowing and extending your exhale. Taking a proper deep breath with an elongated exhale has been shown to have many beneficial impacts on physical and mental health. During straw breathing, a plastic, bamboo or metal tube is used as a tool to restrict airflow to slow your breath. This process also helps to completely empty the lungs potentially building lung capacity and strength. Using a straw makes daily deep breathing exercises and meditation much easier.
Breathing is a natural process that helps connect the mind and body. When we are stressed, the fight or flight response is activated with short and shallow breaths. We can override this response by consciously taking long and slow deep breaths which signal the brain and body to relax.
Mindful breathing helps to awaken the senses throughout the body and improve the metabolism and immunity of the body. Straw breathing is a simple and fast way to start experiencing the benefits of mindful breathing.
Straw Breathing Practice
First, relax jaw and shoulders to release any tension in the body. Place round flat end of straw between lightly closed lips. Prevent forcibly blowing through straw by not pursing lips around straw. Inhale deeply through nose and exhale gently through the strawuntil lungs are completely empty. Repeat this breathing cycle 5 to 10 times until calm and relaxed.
Straw Breathing Benefits
Straw breathing is an all-natural and organic way to help calm your nerves and slow down without the use of drugs, chemicals, pills or medications.
Some of the benefits of practicing straw breathing can help to improve the following conditions:
- Natural stress and anxiety relief
- Help with mental health issues such as anger and fear
- Meditation Aid
- Improves sleep
- Improves withdrawal from addictive substances
- Provides support to the lungs, heart, and digestion process
- Eases the sensations of chronic pain
- Improve productivity, creativity, and focus
- For Stress Relief – The 2-to-1 breathing technique helps to manage stress in daily life. The key for the technique is to exhale for 8–12 seconds, double the time taken to inhale. The straw needs to be placed between closed lips and you have to inhale through the nose. You have to exhale from the straw until the lungs are empty.
- For Anxiety – Using a straw for breath counting can help to calm the mind. The key is to use a straw to focus on your breath while also counting each breath. The straw has to be kept between closed lips and you have to inhale through the nose. Exhale from the straw and empty the lungs. This will complete one breath cycle. Repeat the cycle ten times or until no longer anxious.
- For Mental Health – The focused breathing technique improves awareness and supports the treatment for psychological conditions like trauma, ASD, ADHD, OCD, and more. The key objective in this technique is to count the length between two pauses following the inhale and exhale. Hold the breath and count to 3 and then gently exhale through the straw to empty the lungs completely. Pause the process and count to 3 again and repeat the process regularly for maximum benefits.
- For Meditation – Mantra breathing is an excellent technique that helps the mind to focus on positive trigger words or phrases. The primary objective is to bring focus to your breathwork by repeating positive trigger words. The straw needs to be put between closed lips and you have to inhale through the nose with a positive word in mind and then exhale through the straw until the lungs are fully empty while repeatedly thinking your mantra. The process can be repeated for 5 minutes every day as a useful meditation technique. You can also try setting an intention or seeking an answer by continually asking a question as your mantra.
- For Sleep Improvement – The 4-7-8 breathing technique helps to combat the signs of insomnia. The key to mastering the technique is to focus on the ratio between the inhale, pause, and exhale. Short inhale, long exhale, and medium pause are appropriate for the technique. The straws have to be kept between closed lips and eyes have to be closed as well. Then you have to inhale through the nose and count to 4. Hold the breath until a count of 7 and exhale the breath and count to 12. Practicing this technique regularly before sleep can have a great impact.
- For Heart & Lungs – The diaphragmatic breathing technique helps to reduce systolic blood pressure and supports digestion. This is a unique technique where the key to success is inhaling deep into your diaphragm and not your chest. Place one hand on the chest while the other on the belly. You have to inhale through the nose and focus on the hand on the belly that expands due to air inflow. The hand on the chest should not move. Exhale through the straw and feel the hand on the belly lower as your stomach deflates.
It is important to note that there are several similarities between mindful breathing and straw breathing. All straw breathing techniques involve mindful breathing exercises by focusing your attention on breath control.
Consultation from experts is necessary to determine if straw breathing is suitable for the applicant and needs to be done under supervision. Straw breathing may not be suitable for all adults or children. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911. Stress Straws representatives are not medical professionals. Stress Straws DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Stress Straws are not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider. You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health. Any reliance on any information or products provided is solely at your own risk. Stress Straws makes no representation and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of information contained on or available through this web site or it’s products. Individual results will vary. Stop using if feeling lightheaded or dizzy. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Lewis, Dennis. (n.d.). Citation: Straw Breathing. Dennis Lewis. Retrieved from https://www.dennislewis.org/practices-exercises/straw-breathing/
Busch V, Magerl W, Kern U, Haas J, Hajak G, Eichhammer P. (2012). Citation: Breaths That Work Straw Breathing Guide. Stress Straws. Retrieved from https://strawbreathing.org/wp-content/uploads/dae-uploads/StrawBreathingExercises.pdf