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Y4PS Movement Practice One: Sun Breaths

movement sun breath y4ps Jul 10, 2023

Movement Practice 1: Sun Breaths with Brief Pauses

Sun breaths look a little like standing snow angels. They combine the benefits of power poses, which can build a speaker’s onstage confidence, and a calming box breath, which is a type of breath used by US Navy Seals to deliver a sense of calm under pressure.

This simple flow will also connect you to your breath and prepare you to take up space on stage.


  1. Stand with your feet hip width apart and your posture comfortably upright
  2. Inhaling, count to 4 as you slowly sweep your arms out to the sides and overhead, going slowly enough that the movement lasts the full duration of the inhale
  3. Pause briefly at the top, for a count of 1
  4. Exhaling, count to 5 as you slowly lower your arms down to your sides, again slowing the movement to last for the full exhale
  5. Pause briefly at the bottom, for a count of 1
  6. Optionally, your gaze can also move up and down along with your breath, but only if you have no discomfort in your neck whatsoever 


  • Think of each inhale/exhale round as a breath with a movement, rather than as movement with breath. Let each inhale and exhale happen spaciously and completely, guiding the pace of each movement. If you catch yourself speeding up to get it done, slow down to your most calm, easy pace.
  • Repeat for 10 rounds of breath (inhale up/exhale down), taking your time.
  • The pauses at the top and bottom of the movement are optional, but do try to extend the length of the exhale to be slightly longer than the inhale
  • Counting is helpful as you learn this technique, but over time, you’ll begin to get the rhythm and may want to leave the counting part behind


  • As part of your daily morning practice
  • Just before each rehearsal
  • Just before your presentation, if possible (find a private restroom or green room, or be bold and just go for it backstage – the crew has seen much stranger things!)
  • Any time you feel the need to calm, center, and ground yourself

If you’re short on time, even one to three rounds can help shift things in the right direction.

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