Improved Energy, Health and Longevity
In these videos I give you an introduction to ‘breath-control’, which in yoga is known asprânâyâma. 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.
I want to give you 4 simple breathing exercises that can truly energize you. . This is one of the special ways that you can actually get more energy by doing less than you normally do.
Natural breathing is the usually the best breath 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.
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, can benefit your physical body by improving the strength and flexibility of your muscles of breathing.
Another type of breathing exercise that 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 these four breathing exercises the trick is to breathe as little as you comfortably can in order to build up carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide has the important role in your body of being able to signal the red blood cells to give the oxgen 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 called 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 really 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 session online course. This includes a 45 minute lecture that simply and clearly explains
- what you are trying to
- how to do it and
- the benefits.
The course also includes 15 short video practice classes of between 15 to 27 minutes each that you can practice with. I have also include 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. Increasing carbon dioxide in your body with these exercises will: Bring more blood to your brain and heart (vasodilation)
- Allow more oxygen to enter your body via your lungs (bronchodilation)
- Increase oxygen uptake into your cells, which can increase your energy levels to 18 times as much
- Calm your nervous system and reduce stress Increase digestion of food by stimulating hydrochloric acid levels
- Reduce your appetite for heavy, processed and acidic food.
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. You can join here: