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  How to De-Stress with Breathwork
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How to De-Stress with Breathwork

Here’s a quick breathing exercise to help restore your calm on hectic days

Damon Orion

Allow us to appeal to your inner child for a moment. Today, we’ll be guiding you through a breathing exercise that goes by the elegant name of “Sniff-Sniff-Poo.” This technique comes recommended from breathworker Jesse Coomer as a great way to quickly break through stress and overwhelm. 

“The name of it—Sniff-Sniff-Poo—is exactly what you'll do,” Coomer explains. 

Don’t take that the wrong way, though. The “poo” in question is just a sound you’ll be making with your mouth.

Coomer proceeds to demonstrate: Using a rhythm and tempo similar to the stomp-stomp-clap that introduces Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” he takes two quick sniffs, and then he pushes air from his lips with a voiceless “poo” sound.  

That’s pretty much it. So, now let’s get into the details.

The Sniff-Sniff-Poo Method

  • With the first breath, fill your lungs to about 75 percent. 
  • Fill your lungs completely with the second breath.
  • When you breathe out through your mouth, relax as much as possible. 
  • There’s no need to vocalize the “poo” sound. Just allow your lips to blow out the air.  
  • Repeat these steps for anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute. Then, go back to breathing normally. 
  • According to Coomer, this exercise can also be a balm for grief. 
  • This technique can make you a little dizzy, so don't do it while you’re driving or in the water. 

Coomer says that one cycle of 30 seconds to a minute is generally enough to help dispel stress. If you’d like to do another round, wait at least two or three minutes. “You wouldn't want to habitually do this over and over again,” Coomer notes. “Typically, this is one to do just when you need it. You sort of use it like an inhaler, or just whenever you really feel overwhelmed.” 

As we’ve mentioned before, when using most breathwork techniques—this one included—breathe through your nose rather than your mouth, and draw air into your belly as opposed to your chest. Stay focused on how you feel before, during and after you do this and all other breathwork exercises.  

If you’re interested in exploring these practices more deeply, join MUD\WTR’s bi-weekly breathwork sessions led by our resident breathwork guide, Chris Keener. The sessions kick off at midday every other Friday over on our Instagram Live.

Damon Orion is a writer, musician, artist and teacher based in Santa Cruz, CA. He has written for Revolver, Guitar World, Spirituality & Health, Classic Rock, High Times and other publications. Read more of his work at damonorion.com.  

Read more: Can Breathwork Improve Your Mental Health?

Read more:
Remember to Breathe

Read more: In Through the Nose: The Surprising New Science of Nose Breathing

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