Regardless of whether you have breatheX Basic or Pro you can easily create a simple one step practice routine. If you have breatheX Pro you can also fully edit existing routines and or clone/create powerful multi-step practice routines. This article will help you understand how to create the perfect practice routine for your needs.
Creating a Basic Routine
- Open any category list and scroll to the bottom.
- Tap the CREATE NEW ROUTINE button.
- You will now see a new routine template form that you can adjust.
Dial in Phases
This form allows you to completely customize the breathing pattern by using the sliders to set the time intervals of four "phases" of the breath.
- Retain (pause at the end of an Inhale)
- Sustain (pause at the end of an Exhale)
The sliders can be set in .25 sec increments and the two pause phases can be set to zero however the minimum value for inhale and exhale is 2 seconds each.
As the user adjusts the sliders the donut above shows the relative times for each phase and it calculates and displays the number of Breaths Per Minute (BPM) for those settings. The user can dial in a desired pattern such as equal inhale and exhale with no pauses (5-0-5-0), or perhaps an exhale that is 1.5 times that of an inhale (4-0-6-0) or something like the popular relaxing breath pattern (4-7-8-0).There are many such patterns commonly used in breathing practices to achieve different results. They are often expressed in terms of ratios for the four phases like (1-0-1-0 or 1-1-2-1 etc.). Feel free to experiment to see what works for you.
Set BPM Directly
In addition to setting the time in seconds for each phase the user can fine tune the desired BPM directly by using the plus and minus buttons to the left of the donut. This allows fine grain control over the interval times to hit a precise BPM target. Research has demonstrated that there is an ideal BPM of somewhere between 5 - 6 breaths per minute (for most people) where the respiratory rate synchronizes with heart rate and there is a resonance that occurs. This has the effect of calming the nervous system and also increasing Heart Rate Variability (HRV) which is a reliable marker for health and recovery.
The ability to dial in a target BPM directly allows a users with maximum control to achieve an optimum amount for their individual needs / preferences and this can vary for an individual over time as they become more practiced and or their fitness increases. It also allows a user to "push" themselves a bit by gradually lowering BPM between steps in a specific routine and or over time as they become more comfortable at slower breathing rates.
Set Practice Time
The user can then set the time in minutes for a given pattern. This will determine how many "cycles" they will go through for instance a pattern that uses a 5 BPM target that runs for 5 minutes will repeat 25 times. If using the Pro version the user can create any number of "steps" in a routine and each pattern/step can have it's own time setting so you can create a 15 minute routine that consists of 4 steps. The first might be a 2 minute warmup followed by two 5 minute steps and finally a 3 min wrap up step. The possiblities are endless.
Pick a SoundSet
Below the sliders is a pop-up selector that allows the user to pick a desired soundset for the routine. There are a variety and hopefully the names are indicative of the sounds but if you are new to the app and want to preview the sounds that is easy. Just click the "Preview" button at the top of the form and you will get a preview of the actual animation, timing and you will see a selector at the bottom where you can try different soundsets to find the one that works best.
Obviously it is helpful to give the pattern a name and a description (these both appear during the actual practice session on the iPhone) and can be helpful in helping prompt the user in what to focus on during the practice session.
The final setting (below the soundset selector) is to assign your routine to a particular category so it is easy to find in the future. There are currently five descriptive categories from which you can choose.
Save Your Settings
Make sure to save your settings using the "Save" button in the upper right of the form or you can "Reset" and start over.
If you have the Pro version you can also Edit existing routines. This means you can adjust any of the pre-made routines or create your own custom versions by cloning and editing particular settings. This includes even adding, deleting or re-ordering steps in a routine as well and changing the individual pattern settings themselves. Whenever you "Edit" either a pattern or a routine you will have the option of either updating the existing item "Update" button in the upper right or saving as a new item "Save New" button in the upper left. This will give you complete control in adjusting or creating new routines to meet specific needs!