Seven breathing principles Systema


1. Relax
The best breathing is relaxed.
Tension restricts your breathing and other movements.
To feel the force you should be relaxed.
The force flows better through a relaxed body.
Unnecessary tension is wasting your energy – relax makes you more effective.
Being relaxed and breathing properly helps you to cope with stress, fear, panic, pain.
You feel happier when relaxed!

2. Inhale through the nose & exhale through the mouth
Your body has better control of the volume & speed of intake air.
The nose also performs important filtration & temperature regulation of incoming air.

3. Breath leading
Start any activity with relaxed breathing.
Use your breath to pull or push all physical motion.

4. Intake sufficient volume of air
Breath normally. Avoid over-breathing – it causes tension.
Inhale as much air as your body needs at a particular time, for the work you are engaged in.
Pass your breath smoothly through all parts of your body.

5. Continuity of breath
Your breathing should never be stopped, interrupted or suppressed.
Stopped breathing is producing tension.
Consider some real-life situations when stopping and suppression of breathing occur. It might be a ‘BOO’ or a similar scary sound or abrupt movement. If you drop down or try to touch something high, inserting tread into a needle, or if you are late, in cold water or if you feel pain… Study it, feel how the tension comes and when you stop breathing.
Then focus on reprogramming your subconscious reactions to immediately restore continuity and keep calm & relaxed.

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6. Cycle (pendulum)
Nature often changes in cycles, e.g.: summer/winter, day/night, your heart beating or your breathing.
A cycle doesn’t stop, but smoothly continues to other phases like a wave.
Do not begin to exhale before you complete your inhalation, and vice versa.

7.  Breath independence
Physical action shouldn’t be linked to breathing.
You have to react without hesitation with exhaling and inhaling.

Breath is something nice, which is pleasurable.
Being aware of your breathing calms you down, but also gives you energy and makes you happier.

Burst breathing
Normal, relax breathing is long and smooth.
Under pressure, we have a tendency to hold our breath. With increased stress it’s difficult to keep long smooth breathing, so you make your breath shorter and shorter.
Short ‘burst breathing’ is a natural way of breathing in stressful situations (sometimes children breathe in a similar way before they start to cry).

Breath audible
Make a soft sound as you inhale and exhale.
The rhythm of your breathing helps you control your breathing with other senses.
Rhythm can calm you down.
When you become a master your breathing will be more silent.


More info
For more information read a book ‘Let Every Breath…’ or watch the DVD with masters Vladimir Vasiliev or Mikhail Ryabko.
However, the best way is probably to visit Vladimir’s or Mikhail’s seminar or find other qualified Systema teachers.


Systema has got a variety of exercises that improve your awareness of breathing and changes your body tension.
Systema breathing ‘stretches’ your breath and improves your breath capacity.
Systema exercises especially strength tendons, ligaments and your will power.
It is great to know how to change your subconscious reactions to the stress, shock, pain etc.

Principles of Systema