As you’re reading this right now, you’re most likely slumped over staring at a computer screen or lying down looking at your mobile device…..barely breathing. As a matter of fact, your breath is probably very slow and shallow.
Now try something….
Sit up straight, inhale deeply, filling your lower belly with air first and having the air expand your chest as it fills up. Hold it for a second or two, then exhale just as deeply so that your belly is the last part of your body to deflate. Repeat that five or six times and take note of how you feel.
You most likely feel more relaxed, more centered and calmer.
As a society we have become used to chronically under breathing. This creates a situation where by we don’t have as much oxygen in our systems as we should for our bodies and minds to be operating at their full potential. Couple this with the fact that most people don’t exercise or breath heavy on a regular basis, and you have a population that is basically starving for breath.
By practicing regular deep breathing exercises, you flood your body with life giving oxygen which not only completely revitalizes your system, but calms your mind bringing you into the present moment. All negative thoughts and mental static will melt away and you will be settled, focused and calm.
In addition to these mental benefits, your body will be given another outlet to detoxify from built up acidity in the tissues as deep, rhythmic breathing creates an alkaline state deep inside ourselves which is extremely healing.
Other benefits include but are not limited to:
Reduction in stress hormones
Reduction in blood pressure
Strengthening of the abdominal and intestinal muscles
Relief of general aches and pains
Promotes better blood flow through the tissues
Releases toxins from the body
Aids in deep, restorative sleep
Relaxes the body and mind and brings clarity
Greatly strengthens the immune system
Strengthens the lungs and heart
Boosts energy levels and improves stamina
So how do I go about getting all of these benefits by simply breathing?
Find someplace secluded….this will look strange to the untrained eye, no doubt.
Get comfortable. I like to sit Indian style on my couch with my back supported.
What you’re going to do is take a deep, almost full breath, through your mouth and nose using your diaphragm to pull the air into your belly.
Now let the air gently come out. You don’t want to force it out as you forced it in. What you’re trying to do is take in MORE oxygen than you let out. So you’re going to breath almost fully in, and then just let your chest naturally fall WITHOUT forcing the air out. To make it easier to grasp, picture taking in 100% of the air, and only letting out 65-70%
Do this in a rhythmic fashion for 30-40 breathes.
You’re going to start to feel strange sensations such as tingling and some light headedness, but in a good, pleasurable way. (If you’re getting too light headed, then you’re letting out more air then you’re taking in and you need to adjust your technique)
At the end of your last rhythmic breath, take a FULL inhale….all the way in….and then let it gently come out as your chest falls. Now hold it right there…..don’t take a breath and don’t force any out of your lungs. See how long you can hold this…..this is called the retention.
You may be surprised at how long you can hold your breath at this point. When you think about it, it should be no surprise at all. You just super oxygenated your system by taking in WAY more oxygen then you let out
When you feel the urge to gasp and take in more air, do so, but do it in as large of a breath as you can take in. Once you take this breath in. HOLD IT FOR 20 SECONDS. This is where the magic happens. You’re going to feel your body come alive with energy. You’re going to feel buzzing through out your head and body.
You just did your first round of the breathing exercise!
You want to do this 3 or 4 more times right in a row. Each time you do another round, you will push more and more oxygen into your system and you will start to feel ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!
Each subsequent round will feel better than the last.
You’ll start to get euphoric pulses rushing through your system…you’ll feel strong….very strong. Stronger then you’ve ever felt before.
You’re mind will be SUPER calm and clear. You’ll be completely and utterly relaxed. Moreso then you’ve ever felt before.
THIS is the natural state that human beings are supposed to LIVE in. NOT just visit. By doing these exercises along with everything else you’ve learned at this site, you will feel the most powerful you’ve ever felt.
The second part to this exercise is the mental control, or meditative aspect. Deep breathing has the ability to easily put us in a meditative state due to stimulation of the vagus nerve. We want to take advantage of this state by practicing our ability to meditate WHILE we are doing the breathing exercises. We essentially kill two birds with one stone with this practice.
How do you enter a meditative state? Do you actively focus on it or just passively let it happen?
Well….both…..this is very difficult to explain properly….so bare with me.
You want to learn to train your mind to think of NOTHING. Much easier said then done obviously. The breathing exercises put your mind into the perfect space for meditation quicker then anything I’ve ever experienced. When you have thoughts, just let them come, and go. Don’t focus on them. Let them come in, and let them go out. Don’t beat yourself up…
You want to focus on your third eye. This is the space between your eyes just above the bridge of your nose, inside your brain. You’ll notice that when you look into this space you will see a small spot of light. You want to connect to this light. With each set of exercises the light will become brighter and brighter. When you finally “connect” it will feel like a bolt of energy shooting straight into the back of your head. When you get there, you’ll know. All thought disappears and you can feel yourself connected to….the “oneness” I guess you could call it. It is a beautiful feeling. You have no sense of time, no thoughts, you are just….BEING.
At first it will be fleeting. But with practice you will be able to stay in this space for longer and longer. This is going to take practice. With meditation, you are “flexing” your brain, just as if you would flex a muscle. The more you do this, the easier it will be. When you get to the part of the exercise when you take the large breath after not breathing for a minute or two or three, this is the time you can flex your focus to push into this spot. When you take that breath, really focus into that spot of light. Keep your body relaxed. You don’t want to force it, but you want to push into it with your focus. Also during this time, if you have the urge to move or flail around, DON’T….redirect that bodily energy into your third eye. If you feel like you want to move, just relax instead, and you will feel this energy get pushed into your minds eye.
The end result of these exercises are being able to center yourself at will when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed or just not focused. I’m at the point now where at any given time during the day, if I really need to focus, I can simply take one deep belly breathe and my mind IMMEDIATELY knows what to do. I can basically “flex” myself into the present moment completely. All mental static gets pushed out and I’m in the here and now in the blink of an eye. This is the ultimate goal.
Practice these techniques DAILY. Once in the morning immediately after rising and once in the early evening, when you’re home and in for the night.
You will start to experience a new found calm confidence that will fill you up. Anxiety will completely melt away and you’ll start to sleep like a baby.
These exercises done regularly, will literally take you to the next level of being. You may not feel like doing them everyday, but once you start, your body will drop the resistance. Practicing these exercises will change your life for the better.