These are the things I think about when I think about how to use my breath:
Athletes exhale on a jump to maximize height or distance
Sharp-shooters hold their breath and pull the trigger between heartbeats to steady their arms.
Your diaphragm relaxes on the exhale and contracts on the inhale, so it is easier for the whole body to relax and generate force when you exhale.
Your breath is THE vital function which both operates automatically and which you can control voluntarily.
With practice, you can relax or or create tension on either the in-breath or out-breath, which is important for free motion and situational awareness.
Inhale guiding your breath up your body on the “yin” skin, exhale going down on the “yang” skin.
High pressure or small hole breathing, which is our “sanchin” or Tiger breathing, will flush your system like a hose-bladder. Period.
Multiple percussive exhales will relax your body and oxygenate you when you are anaerobic.
You can breathe through fear.
You can breathe through pain.
You can breathe through distraction.
You can breathe into any part of your body, and every part has wisdom to share.

Image Credit:By Cruithne9 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,