In this online course, I give you an introduction to ‘breath-control’, which has been practised by traditional cultures all over the world for many thousands of years. In the yoga of Tibet and India, it is referred to as prânâyâma. In China, it is related to the practices of chi gong. This is a very accessible set of practices that can be done by anyone and have very effective results for health, longevity and well-being.
This practices taught in this course are designed to give you energetic and physiological benefits by building up carbon dioxide and breathing into your whole body in a way that is initiated and sustained from your diaphragm. These practices can help to you to:
Allow more oxygen to enter your body via your lungs by expanding your lung vessels (bronchodilation)
Increase oxygen uptake into your cells, which can increase your energy levels by 18 times
Calms your nervous system and reduces stress and anxiety
Reduce your appetite for heavy, processed and acidic food by regulating your blood pH
Bring more blood to your brain and heart by expanding your blood vessels (vasolidation)
Helps to increase digestion of food, absorption of nutrients and elimination of wastes and toxins
Helps to relieve back pain
WHO IS THIS COURSE FOR
This course is for anyone who wishes to improve their energy levels while increasing their level of calmness. This course may benefit people suffering from a number of conditions including: low energy levels, breathing difficulties, anxiety, indigestion, disturbances in the menstrual cycle.
The exercises taught in this course can benefit most beginner to advanced practitioners of any form activity that involves posture, movement and/or breathing who want to practice in a safer and more effective manner.
The practices shown here are ideal for teachers and students of dance, martial arts, gymnastics, fitness training and modern yoga.
Apart from teaching natural breathing, these exercises are the safest, most accessible yet most effective breathing exercises for most people can practice.
WHAT YOU GET
A 45 minute lecture that simply and clearly explains the physiology of breathing and the exercises i show you can benefit you
15 short video practice classes of between 15 to 27 minutes each that you can practice with.
Explanatory text and further resources you can draw from to enhance these practices.
WHAT I AM TEACHING YOU ON THIS COURSE
In this course, I give you 4 simple breathing exercises that can truly energise you. This is one of the special ways that you can get more energy by doing less than you normally do - by breathing less than you normally do! But in a focused and relaxing way.
Natural breathing is usually the best breathing for most people to practice during most exercise. In that way, you can concentrate on doing your exercise without having to worry about breathing. If, however, you are doing something very simple and relaxing such as lying down or sitting, then you can take the time to do specific breathing exercises, and that is what I will teach you in this course.
Essentially, there are two types of breathing exercises. One type of breathing exercise, which is commonly taught in many physical training activities including many modern yoga classes. This often includes locking your core, inhibiting your diaphragm, and stressful over-breathing (hyperventilation) into your chest. While this can give you some benefits in your physical body in terms of strength and flexibility, it tends to reduce the flow of oxygen to your brain and your cells and overstimulates your sympathetic nervous system (the flight, fight and fear response'). This not only reduces your energy levels, and reduces the function of your internal organs, but it can also bring your subconscious to a state of anxiety and fear.
The other type of breathing exercise, the one I wish to share with you here, is breathing for increasing energy. This type of breathing is designed to increase the amount of oxygen entering your cells. In the breathing exercises, I teach you on this course, the trick is to breathe as little as you comfortably can to build up carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide has an important role in your body of being able to signal the red blood cells to give the oxygen they carry to your body cells. If there is not enough carbon dioxide in your body then red blood cells tend to retain their oxygen and not release it into your cells. This is referred to as the Bohr-effect. When you get oxygen into your cells you have the possibility of making 18 times as much energy for every glucose molecule of ‘fuel’ you ‘burn’.
The four simplest breathing exercises (apart from relaxed natural breathing) are as follows:
- Inhalation emphasis breathing: make a long slow inhale and then a short natural breath out.
- Inhalation retention emphasis breathing: Make a gentle full breath in, and then hold your breath in as long as you comfortably can, and then a short natural breath out.
- Exhalation emphasis breathing: Make a gentle full breath in, and then breathe out as slowly as possible for as long as it is comfortably possible.
- Exhalation retention emphasis breathing: Make a gentle full breath in over 3-5 seconds, then a short full breath out about the same length, and then hold your breath out as long as you comfortably can.
You should stay as relaxed as possible in all these exercises and never force them. Whenever you need to breathe, simply take a few natural relaxed breaths.
In each of these four exercises, your ideal goal is to try to make each breath you take last as long as possible. Many people find they can do one breath for as long as 45 seconds. Some people will find that even one breath in 30 seconds is hard. Once you can breathe one full breath (in any of the 4 exercises I have described) lasting from about 30 seconds to one minute in length while relaxed, then the energetic benefits of breathing will manifest. You will then find an increase in body heat, internal energy, mental clarity, reduced hunger as well as a profound sense of inner peace and relaxation. If you are a smoker, then these exercises can help you to easily quit smoking as they have the same calming effect as cigarettes. So by doing these exercises, you will not have the urge to smoke, yet you will feel calm, focused, warm and energised.
It is great for your health if you can sit quietly from as little as 5 minutes to 30 minutes or more each day and do some simple breathing exercises. You can do all four of these exercises in one practice if you like, but for most people, it is best to learn only one exercise at a time. All four exercises can be very effective at giving you energy but some people will find they prefer doing only one or two. To get the best effects it is important to do at least 6 breaths in each practice and it is also important to breathe less air than you normally would. If you start to get dizzy then it is a sign you may be breathing too much air too quickly. In this case, simply go back to natural breathing. This practice is very beneficial and can be done as I describe above but if you would like some more instructions then I strongly recommend you join my 16 sessions online course.
The course includes a 45-minute lecture that simply and clearly explains:
- What you are trying to with your breathing
- How to do breathe to get the specific effects you desire
- The benefits of breathing in the ways that I suggest
The course includes 15 short video practice classes of between 15 to 27 minutes each that you can practice with. I have also included some explanatory text as well as some further resources you can draw from. This practice is designed to give you the energetic benefits of breathing exercises by building up carbon dioxide and enhancing the activity of your diaphragm.
Increasing carbon dioxide in your body with these exercises will:
- Bring more blood to your brain and heart by expanding your blood vessels (vasodilation)
- Allow more oxygen to enter your body via your lungs by expanding your bronchial tubes (bronchodilation)
- Increase oxygen uptake into your cells, which can increase your energy levels by 18 times
- Calm your nervous system
- Increase your digestion of food, absorption of nutrients, and the elimination of wastes and toxins
Enhancing the activity of your diaphragm may help to:
- Relieve lower back pain
- Increase the flexibility of your spine
- Improve the power of your trunk
- Improve the health of your digestive system
- Improve the health of your immune system
- Help to reduce anxiety and stress by allowing you to more easily access a dominance of your parasympathetic nervous system (your 'rest, relaxation, rejuvenation and regeneration response')
These exercises are a simple effective way to increase your health and longevity, that I have successfully taught to thousands of people around the world over the last 30 years.
I am so thankful for Simon's Introduction to Breath Control course; after practising pranayama on my own for a few months, this course has radically transformed my practice in just the first week of the course! Simon has taught me both how to deeply relax my body consciously in a short space of time, and the power of doing so in terms of working with my breath (and life!). His tips to extend the inhalation, retentions & exhalation have had a really noticeable positive impact on my practice already; and I have discovered a peace in my mind that has been elusive to me but for tiny periods of time on meditation retreats. It is amazing to feel myself barely breathing at the end of a session, and how that is sustained for some time after each session.- Jo, 50, New Zealand
What is great about Simon Borg-Olivier and how he teaches is that he is always clear and precise about what to do in a posture to suit most practitioners’ needs without making them do anything that can potentially be dangerous. But he is also clear and precise when it comes to tailoring asanas to your own individual needs.- Donald, 43, Adelaide, hatha yoga teacher
It feels like all my yoga studies before were just some fumbling around in funny postures whose essence I didn’t have the slightest clue of. Simon always encourages you to listen to your body’s real needs, and be sensible about pushing your limits. Not many teachers can make you practice yoga in a way which challenges you, but keeps you in the safe lane as well.- Eddy, 35, Perth, ashtanga teacher