If you could have a simple 15 minute breathing exercise that heals the body, clears the mind and uplifts mood daily; would you do it?
This one breathing exercise, the one I lead at my Breathe & Freeze events, activates your bodies natural healing systems. It stimulates chemical and hormonal changes in the body that can not only produce a radical up-shift in mood but stimulate physically healing and measurably lower stress hormones throughout the day.
Because of the research backed effects of this breathing exercise (including low-dose intermittent hypoxia and autonomic nervous system influence), people are overcoming depression and anxiety as well as achieving physical healing with a success rate and level far greater than when using prescribed drugs, and with zero side-effects!
A few Benefits of this Breathing Exercise
- Reduced levels of stress hormone in the body
- Reduced inflammation in the body
- Manages Auto-immune conditions
- Increase efficiency of Oxygen use which leads to less work for your heart to do, therefor a chance of living longer
- Temporarily alkalizes the blood allowing activation of stem cells for bodily healing
- Angiogenesis – the creation of new blood vessels
- Pain Relief – Temporary blood pH shift relieves pain
After we go through the steps of this simple breathwork practice I’ll just list a few research links for those of you who like to know some of the science behind what we will do here.
The Breathing Exercise Steps
- Lay down in a comfortable place (a couch, bed or yoga mat) where you can be undisturbed and comfortable. Turn off your phone for the next 15 minutes.
- Take a few breaths to just get your awareness on your breathing. Notice the depth of your breathing and it’s speed – breathing in and out – before you begin the actual breathing exercise.
- INHALE through the NOSE
- Breathing fully and deeply IN; filling your lungs slowly from the bottom to the top.
- As you start inhaling your belly expands as the bottom of your lungs fill with air, and as you reach the top of your inhale your chest expands.
- Notice how you can inhale a little more than you typically do, filling all the way to the top.
- EXHALE through the MOUTH
- Just let the air “fall out of your lungs”. There is no effort or restraining it at all. Just let it fall out. Your shoulder’s will drop, relaxed.
- This exhale will take less time than your inhale AND will leave you with some air still in your lungs since your not exhaling by ‘pushing it out’. This may take a bit of practice to figure out and get used to. Just let it fall out – basically equalizing with the ambient air pressure.
- Do this 30 to 40 times
- until you feel a tingling sensation that usually starts in the fingers (but may be felt elsewhere), and some light headedness. This is normal and safe, and we want it for the purposes of this breathing exercise. We want to breathe in the direction of those sensations.
- If you don’t feel the tingling sensations at all after 15-20 breaths, increase the speed and deepness of your inhale, as well as the speed of your letting it fall out of you on exhale.
- Exhale all air and hold your breath with NO air in the lungs, for as long as you can.
- use effort to push all the air out on this last exhale. Once all the air is out of the lungs, you stop breathing. Don’t inhale again.
- allow your face, neck and whole body to just relax.
- When you feel the urge need to inhale, just try to overcome that first urge, and when you really have to inhale take a full deep breath in – inhaling through the nose and HOLD this breath IN for about 20 seconds while flexing your chest muscles as if you were trying to push the freshly oxygenated air into the alveoli. You do NOT hold this in for as long as you can, only for about 20 seconds. Then you exhale and this is the end of 1 full round of the breathing exercise.
- Do this 2 more times for a total of 3 rounds.
- once you’re done the 3 rounds I suggest giving yourself 2 or 5 minutes to just continue laying there relaxing and letting yourself be calmly, not forcing anything, in the space, in the feelings and whatever the immediate effects are for you.
- This is like Savansana in Yoga; the final relaxation posture.
- Do it again tomorrow and if you’re on Koh Phangan in Thailand look up the Breathe & Freeze event that I lead each Sunday up at the Sunny Yoga hilltop in Srithanu!!
Scientific Research Papers Related to This Breathwork Exercise
- Stem Cell activation –
- Intermittent Hypoxia, Health & Healing
- Accumulating evidence suggests that “low dose” IH (modest hypoxia, few episodes) may be a simple, safe, and effective treatment with considerable therapeutic potential for multiple clinical disorders
- Intermittent hypoxia is known to elicit physiological response types in several organs and body systems
- Comparison to Psychedelic Therapies –