Star Breathing 101: A Powerful Way To Destress


Have you ever felt stressed and had someone advise you to take a deep breath? The purpose of calming exercises is to shift your body from the stress response mode to a state of relaxation

Deep breathing significantly increases the oxygen in your bloodstream and expands your capillaries. This physical effect helps calm your body and reduce stress levels. Thus, Star breathing can provide an extraordinary calming experience. 

In this article, learn

  • What is star breathing
  • Benefits of star breathing
  • How is star breathing related to other breathing practices
  • How to practice star breathing
  • Precautions and Tips
gold stars

What is Star Breathing?

The Star breathing exercise is a visualization technique that combines deep breathing with the imagery of a radiant star. This exercise aims to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and enhance mindfulness

With every inhale, imagine the star’s light growing brighter and more vibrant within you. Feel its calming energy spreading throughout your body, soothing every cell and relaxing every muscle.

As you exhale, let go of any worries, distractions, or negative thoughts. Picture them leaving your body, allowing you to release and surrender to the moment’s tranquility fully.

The breathing exercise is effective for providing a calming effect and mindfulness. Regular practice can help you cultivate a greater sense of inner calm, improve your ability to manage stress and enhance your overall well-being. 

6 Benefits of Star breathing 

1. Better Emotional Well-being

The Star breathing exercise can positively impact emotional well-being. You shift your emotional state by visualizing the radiant star and connecting it with its calming energy. 

This exercise promotes positive emotions such as tranquility, peace, and joy while helping to release and let go of negative emotions. It can be particularly beneficial in managing stress, anxiety, and overwhelm, allowing you to cultivate emotional balance and resilience.

a womans face with a purple universe over it

2. Relaxation and Stress Reduction

Engaging in the Star breathing exercise triggers the relaxation response in the body. Deep breathing and visualization techniques help activate the parasympathetic nervous system. It is responsible for the “rest and digest” response.

It leads to a decrease in heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension, resulting in a deep state of relaxation. Regular practice of this breathing exercise can help with stress and promote a sense of calmness.

3. Mindfulness and Present-Moment Awareness

The Star breathing exercises encourage mindfulness, bringing attention to the present moment without judgment.

By focusing on the visualization of the star and the sensation of your breath, you cultivate a heightened sense of awareness. This practice enhances your ability to stay present, let go of distractions, and experience greater clarity and mindfulness in your daily life.

4. Enhanced Focus and Concentration

Engaging in the breathing exercise requires sustained attention and focus. When you direct your attention to the visualization and the rhythmic pattern of your breath, you train your brain to stay present and centered

It is very important to focus deeply. This practice can enhance your ability to concentrate and improve overall focus, benefiting various aspects of life, such as work, studies, or engaging in tasks that require mental clarity. 

an outstretched hand with a star on it

5. Energy Alignment and Vitality

The Star breathing exercises allow you to connect with the positive and revitalizing energy of the star. When you inhale the light and energy of the star, you absorb its radiant qualities, which can help restore and balance your energy levels. This exercise can leave you feeling more revitalized, refreshed, and connected to a sense of inner vitality.

6. Self-Care and Self-Awareness 

By dedicating time to practice this exercise, you prioritize your well-being and create a space for self-reflection. This practice can deepen your understanding of your thoughts, emotions, and sensations, fostering a stronger connection to yourself and promoting self-growth.

How to Practice Star Breathing?

  • Find a cozy spot to sit down, and ensure you’re in a calm place where no one will bother you.
  • Breathe deep through your nose, filling your lungs, and then breathe slowly through your mouth to release any tension or stress.
  • Stretch one hand out in front of you like a star. You may wish to rest in on your lap or a supportive surface like a table, and ensure there is space between your fingers.
  • Use your index finger of your other hand as the pointer. You will use this to trace your up and down your fingers.
  • Starting at the bottom of your thumb, begin to trace your hand up while breathing in slowly and deeply. Pause at the top of your thumb, where the tip of the star is for 2-4 seconds while holding your breath in.
  • Then exhale at a steady and slow pace, while tracing your pointer down your thumb.
  • Repeat with your index finger, middle finger etc. until you have traced each finger on your hand.
  • Match your breath with the star tracing. Take a deep breath in as you move your finger up the star, and breathe out slowly as you trace down the lines.
  • After completing one star, rest your arm for a moment. Take a few deep breaths, and then do the star tracing exercise again, repeating it 5 to 10 times. Adjust the number of times based on what you like and your time.
  • While doing the exercise, pay attention to the movement of your finger and the feeling of your breath going in and out. Try to keep your mind from wandering, and if it does, gently bring your focus back to the star tracing.
  • When you’ve done enough repetitions, briefly lower your arm and sit quietly. Take a few more deep breaths and notice how you feel. The exercise should make you feel more centered, calm, and present.
a hand with arrows on it explaining star breathing

Star Breathing: Precautions and Tips

  • Before you exercise, ensure you’re physically comfortable. If you have any physical limitations or health concerns that make it hard to stretch your arm or sit a certain way, you can change the exercise to fit your needs. You can even do it while lying down or sitting in a way that feels good.
  • If you have any breathing problems or conditions, be gentle with the breathing part of the exercise. Take it slow, and don’t force yourself to take deep breaths if it feels uncomfortable.
  • Don’t hurry through the exercise. Find a pace that feels comfortable for both the finger movement and your breathing. You do not have to hurry to complete breathing exercises. Stay focused, and it will become a mindful and spiritually uplifting experience.
  • Be gentle with yourself when you move your arm. Don’t push too hard, and avoid making your muscles tense or uncomfortable. If you feel discomfort or tension in your arm or shoulder, take breaks or do smaller movements.
  • Star breathing involves moving your finger and coordinating it with your breath. Stay in the moment and pay full attention to what you’re doing. This will promote a sense of inner peace and tranquility during breathing exercises.
  • Take your time with the exercise. Find a comfortable pace for finger movement and breathing. It’s all about creating a smooth and peaceful flow.
  • Begin with a few repetitions of the exercise and then gradually do more as you get more comfortable with it. You can do it 5 to 10 times, and you can do more or fewer based on what you like and how much time you have.
a woman meditating in front of candles

How is Star Breathing related to other breathing practices?

Deep Breathing

Deep breathing forms the foundation of many breathing exercises, including Star breathing. In deep breathing, you focus on taking slow, intentional breaths that fully engage your diaphragm and promote relaxation

Star breathing exercise incorporates deep breathing by encouraging you to inhale deeply. You will draw in the light and energy of the star and exhale fully to release tension and negativity. 

Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic or belly or abdominal breathing involves breathing deeply into the lower belly, engaging the diaphragm muscle. It promotes better oxygen exchange, reduces stress, calms the nervous system, and enhances overall well-being.

Star breathing exercise aligns with diaphragmatic breathing principles by encouraging you to take deep breaths, allowing your abdomen to expand on inhalation and contract exhalation. 

Box Breathing (Square Breathing)

Box breathing is a powerful relaxation technique used to achieve a state of calm and mental clarity. Box breathing follows a structured pattern of inhaling and exhaling, holding the breath, and holding the breath again, typically for equal counts, just like the star breathing exercise.

Box breathing and star breathing exercises are related in their focus on mindfulness and deep, intentional breathing. While they are distinct techniques, both share the common goal of reducing stress through controlled breathwork. 

a man meditating under a tree

Ujjayi Breathing

Ujjayi breathing involves making a soft “ocean-like” sound in your throat as you breathe in and out through your nose. This type of breathing helps you stay focused during yoga and relaxes your body and mind.

Star breathing and Ujjayi breathing exercises encourage conscious breathing with a visual or audible component. They create a calming and soothing effect, helping individuals enter a state of feeling content. 

Mindfulness Breathing

Mindfulness breathing involves directing your attention to the present moment and focusing on the sensations of your breath. It is often practiced as a form of meditation or mindfulness exercise. The breathing exercises add a meditative element to the practice.

Star breathing integrates mindfulness principles by directing your attention to the visualization of the star and the sensation of your breath. It encourages you to stay fully present and engaged in the experience, promoting mindfulness and awareness of the present moment.

a woman in prayer with her eyes closed

Relaxation Response Activation

Like many other breathing exercises, the Star breathing exercise aims to activate the body’s relaxation response. This response helps tackle stress and overwhelm and promotes a state of calmness and balance.

By engaging in deep breathing, visualization, and mindful awareness, the Star breathing exercise helps elicit the response, reducing stress, decreasing heart rate, and lower blood pressure.

Star Breathing 101: Concluding Thoughts 

Star breathing can be a useful breathing cum visualization exercise. It can help you overcome stress, practice mindfulness, improve concentration, balance your energy levels, and more. 

In a nutshell, Star breathing helps one find calm and tranquility within oneself. 

If you are someone looking for the benefits mentioned above, perform the breathing technique under the supervision of a practitioner. This way, you will reap benefits fast. 

More on the Breath:
Photo of author
Wenlin is a Women’s Well-being Coach, Qigong and Yoga specialist for women and Red School Menstruality Mentor who is passionate about empowering working women to overcome overwhelm to find flow, ease and joy in their life. Wenlin brings with her over 15 years experience working at the intersection of mindfulness, creativity, psychology and wellness, with over 3,000 hours of training and 8 years of experience supporting women across Asia, Europe and the USA. If you want to learn how to find more flow and ease in your life, Wenlin is here to support you.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.