Awareness, or meditative awareness, is being conscious of your inner world of thoughts, feelings, sensations, emotions and reactions to these things. Relaxation is "the release factor," or act of letting go - "probably the most powerful key to this work," [breath-work teacher] Brulé said.
The third component is conscious breathing, at the end of which people are "more alive, alert, awake, relaxed, peaceful and energized."
In some ways, the breathing is a "trick," Brulé said. "most of our suffering is caused by things we are doing consciously or unconsciously, by habit, or as reactions. Conscious breathing pulls our attention and energy away from the habits of thinking, feeling, behaving and, in that space, something new is possible.
"When we are breathing consciously, we are not doing whatever we would normally do from habit."
If you want to have the benefits of conscious breathing, use the breath as a support for meditation. Either rest your consciousness on breath at the nostrils, or breath at the abdomen, or do breath counting (one to four assigning a number to each out breath - then starting over.) Then as you go about your business during the day, you can just remind yourself to "breathe" and you will interrupt habitual tendency thereby making it possible to choose something new.