Circular breathing may be accomplished using a variety of methods; however, they all require essentially the same premise. The musician inhales fully, and as they do so, they begin to blow as they exhale. Just before the lungs empty, the remaining bit of air is blown from the lungs into the musician's mouth, inflating the cheeks with air. As the musician uses the air in their cheeks, they simultaneously fill their lungs. This is accomplished by inhaling through their nose prior to the air in their cheeks being used up completely. When this process is accomplished correctly, the air in their mouths will be almost empty as the musician prepares to exhale from their lungs.
The practice of circular breathing has been compared to drinking from a water fountain, and at the same time the mouth has water in it, taking a breath. There are a number of different methods that may be utilized to help musicians implement the basics of circular breathing, depending on the instructor. However, the foundations of circular breathing remain the same. It can be very difficult for many people to learn the basics of circular breathing, especially for many older musicians who, already skilled in many areas, seek to master the art of circular breathing quickly. This practice takes time to learn, and it is not expected that the process be picked up immediately. Since the feeling is inhaling while "exhaling" can seem quite unnatural, it can take time to become comfortable with circular breathing. By becoming aware of the basics of circular breathing, musicians can improve their odds of success using this type of breathing. While circular breathing is used for a variety of instruments around the world, including the launeddas, the arghul, and a number of flutes and oboes, the method is used extensively by those who play the Australian didgeridoo. This style of breathing is not a requirement for playing the didgeridoo, but it is a very beneficial one.