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4 Phase Breathing

Whole Brain Breathing.

This breathing allows you to activate and harmonise the four main parts of your brain. When these parts harmonise, you will be able to calm, understand and make better choices in life.

In short, we are looking at the following parts of the brain:

Neo cortex – makes it possible for you to reason and to communicate in a verbal as well as a symbolic or creative way. It is here where you should control the thoughts that roam your mind. Sadly, the busy western minds of modern society seldom allow themselves to control their mental thoughts.

Limbic brain – this is the brain in control of your plenty emotions and memories. While you are awake and aware, you will choose the emotions that reigns your life. If not, you may succumb to feelings of shame, guilt, depression and anxiety.

Reptilian brain – Whenever you are in physical danger, this part will have you acting out in one of three ways: fight, flight or flee. It will also have a definite influence on your feeding and fornicating. By being more awake and aware in your body, your reactions will be much better controlled in a proactive manner, instead of being reactive.


Frontal lobe – this part of the brain is responsible for your ability to be flexible, spontaneous, to have the will to live. It enables you to reason, take initiative and to control your impulses. If you activate this part, you feel will feel fully alive, awake and aware of who you are and what you are. Now you exercise choice over your emotions, thoughts that roam your mind and the way you react to situations. This part will only be activated while you are free to make choices, and when you have an awareness of your body and emotions.

This breathing is designed to bring the different parts in harmony with each other.

Set up a meditation timer to ring every 5 minutes, for 4 times consecutively. If you are a beginner, set it for 1 minute and increase the time until you reach 5 minutes, and even longer periods where you can hold your focus on your breathing.

  1. Sit or lie down comfortably. Keep your eyes softly focussed on a point in front of you.
  2. Close your eyes and bring your focus to a point behind your eyes.
  3. Now allow that focus point to concentrate on your breathing. At any time during this meditation, if you lose your focus, gently remember the point behind your eyes, and return your focus to your breathing.
  4. Breathe in four different ways:
  • First 5 minutes: allow your body to do the breathing. You are only witnessing it as it happens. You are not changing or forcing anything. If a change occurs in the pattern, you remain the observer without interfering on a conscious level. This breathing will activate the attention of the reptilian brain.
  • Second 5 minutes: Keep on watching your breathing in a detached way, but now you allow your breathing to show you the colour of the in- and out breath. It may be the same colour with each breath, or it may change with every stroke, or many times during one breath. You remain the unattached observer. – Limbic brain
  • Third 5 minute: Now you are taking control of your breath and getting the attention of the neo cortex. Count from 1 to 5 on the in-breath, and again 1 – 5 on the outbreath. Repeat this pattern.
  • Last 5 minutes: Go back to the unattached observing of your breath, as you hand control once again to your reptilian brain.

Take your time to return the focus to the point behind your eyes. Remember the spot you focussed on before you closed your eyes, and then slowly open your eyes to return your focus to that spot. Smile and return to your daily life.

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