Correct tongue position in 3 steps

Published on in Health and Running

Say "n" and cluck and relax. Easy! Correct tongue position makes nasal breathing easier.

Table of contents

Step 1: Find the right spot for the tip of the tongue

The right spot is in the roof of the mouth, behind the upper front teeth.

Saying the letter "n" aloud will guide the tip of the tongue to the right spot.

Step 2: Place the rest of the tongue against the roof of the mouth

Placing the whole tongue to the roof of the mouth will pull the roof of the mouth (i.e. the hard palate) down. The roof of the mouth is also the floor of the nose, so this helps increase the nasal space, making breathing through the nose easier.

One way to guide the whole tongue to the roof of the mouth is to cluck with your tongue. (Check the video link below for an example.)

Step 3: Relax

Keep your lips together gently. Relax the whole head as well:

  • Relax the tongue
  • Relax the lips
  • Relax the jaws
  • Relax the eyes
  • Relax the face

Bonus: Relax the diaphragm

Keep the diaphragm relaxed as well and practice diaphragmatic breathing at all times.

Video guide

The three steps are from a YouTube video called STOP Mouth Breathing – Try This that I accidentally found when looking for something else. (I slightly expanded the 3rd step above and added the bonus step.)

The video starts by explaining some benefits of nasal breathing. The 3-step instructions start at 1:42 of the video.

Why?

Nasal breathing (i.e. breathing in and out through the nose) at all times is essential for your health. "At all times" includes breathing while sleeping and during exercise!

If you are into running, try running with the mouth closed. It will be hard at first, but try it for a month. I'm sure you'll like it so much more that you'll never want to run with an open mouth anymore.

The 2nd step is important

I'm calling it out because I have been practicing nasal breathing for several years, but I didn't know that the whole tongue should be against the roof of the mouth. Whoops. 🙉 I just recently learned it from the video.

Now nasal breathing without the 2nd step – i.e. with the tip of the tongue at the roof of the mouth but the rest of the tongue hanging at the floor of the mouth – feels somewhat weird. Probably because without the step the nasal space is reduced.

Don't make the mistake that I was doing for several years. 🤙