Break Through Tension with A Systema Breathing Drill

Systema Breathing Drill

We all know that breathing is our best tool to eliminate tension. We have done numerous great drills at Systema classes and seminars including aSystema breathing drill that accelerate the elimination of tension. Many of these exercises are outlined in the book Let Every Breath and DVD on Systema Breathing.

I would like to share a very useful drill with you. Mikhail Ryabko and I recently used this drill during our training sessions in Moscow.

You will enjoy it, as it gives you AN ACCELERATED WAY to clean out your tension.

  • Begin by lying on your back relaxed, and exhale.
  • Inhale smoothly and fully.
  • Hold your breath on the full inhale as long as you possibly can.
  • While you are holding the breath, relax each level of your body – back of the head, neck, shoulders, solar plexus, abdominal area, hips, and legs. Also, check through the areas of tension your may have in your body related to your previous injuries or diseases and try to relax them.
  • When you can not hold your breath any longer, begin to do “Burst Breathing” (as described in detail in Let Every Breath on page 69) in a dynamic and intense way, gradually slowing down until you restore your breathing and heart rate down to the normal resting level. Your will know that your tension has reduced and you have restored yourself when you achieve a natural and free inhale and exhale.
  • Take one full breath, and then exhale completely. Now hold your breath as long as you possibly can on the exhale. Repeat the same sequence of removing tension and Burst Breathing restoration.

This Break Through Tension drill allows you to achieve two results:

  • find and work though your areas of tension
  • learn to restore yourself from stress and sharp physical strain without any compromise of functioning

This drill is an excellent preparation tool for striking, wrestling and any physical activity that involves holding your breath.

A WORD OF CAUTION TO NEW PRACTITIONERS, this exercise may bring an unwanted result of over-exciting your nervous system. However, once you have practiced some fundamentals breathing drills (as described in detail in the Core Work chapters of Let Every Breath pages 59 through 84), you will be comfortable and safe with the above described breathing exercise.

Inhale this training live and get more inspiring details by participating in Vladimir’s Systema Headquarters classes: or Vladimir’s upcoming seminars and events

This article was originally published on August 28, 2007.