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Many studies show that the most efficient breathing technique is a 5.5-second inhale followed by a 5.5-second exhale. Breathing in this pattern: increases blood flow to the brain, and your body enters a state of coherence where the functions of the heart, circulatory, and the nervous system become coordinated to peak efficiency. When I use the term "breathing," it should be understood that I mean nasal breathing. If you were to peruse any medical textbook looking for the functions of the mouth, one term you will not see concerning the mouth is "breathing." Yet, the data shows that 85% of us in the physical dimension are mouth breathers!
Furthermore, the data also shows that 80 % of people who work in an office environment suffer from daytime apnea. I have read many books and studies on this topic, and here is the takeaway. Mouth breathing equals shallow or chest breathing. Shallow breathing causes signals to be sent via neurons to the brain that tells the body to get ready to fight or flight. This causes adrenaline and sugar to dump into your bloodstream and an elevated heart rate. The problem is that the lion you must fight or flee from never comes. In the meantime, the anxiety-inducing email you are reading from your boss might as well be a lion!
Moreover, you would be better off running from the email as this would allow you to spend the excess adrenaline and sugar! Instead, you continue to read email after email while shallow breathing, or worse, daytime apnea! Then you go home to watch the "news," and more adrenaline and sugar flood the body! This vicious cycle becomes physically and emotionally toxic! An alarming pattern emerges when you connect the dots of what the various studies are showing throughout the world. This emerging pattern shows a 100% correlation between mouth breathers and ADHD.
Becoming conscious of your breath after a lifetime of mouth breathing does not happen overnight. My goal is to simplify a daily breathwork routine that you can add to your wellness toolbelt to keep you conscious of your breathing all day and night!
Slow breathing goes by another name, Prayer. As a student of the ancient scriptures, a common theme I run into is the importance of nasal breathing in your everyday life. Using the term "common theme" may be downplaying it as I feel our ancestors are yelling at us from the past! I remember chills going down my spine as I read the book "Breath" by James Nestor. In particular, the part about the timing of ancient prayers. One of the best-known kundalini yoga techniques is the Sa Ta Na Ma chant. It takes approximately 6 seconds to vocalize, followed by a 6-second inhale. The Buddhist and Hindu Mudras utilize Khecari or Kechari. This technique is accomplished by placing the tongue above the soft palate while in a Mudra or pose. You then "pray" for 6-second inhale and exhale cycles. This is intended to help boost physical and spiritual health and overcome disease. The Om Mani Padme Hum chant made famous by monks, the divine OM, "sacred sound of the universe "used in Jainism and other traditions, the Latin version of the rosary, the catholic prayer cycle of the Ave Maria, as well as many Native American "prayers" all approximately 6-second cycles!
Between the ages of 5 and 14, I unknowingly was doing a form of breathing that would produce a blissful hallucination effect. It started as practicing holding my breath. During the summer, I would go to the pool with my friends, and we would get competitive to see who could hold their breath longer or swim underwater the furthest. Sometimes, while practicing, I would feel as if I was going to "pass out" but end up in a very dream-like state that I really enjoyed but couldn't consistently reproduce. Then one day in middle school, during gym class, a couple of my classmates discovered a similar technique that produced the same effects. Their approach was taking 15 deep inhales and exhales, followed by a breath-hold while someone would simultaneously squeeze your chest from behind. By experimentation, I took it a step further and found I could create this same effect every time on my own. I never told my parents or anybody because I assumed they would say to me it was dangerous. I have always been able to hold my breath for a long time. I contributed it to all the practice I did as a kid. Then one day, as I was researching, I synchronously came across ancient breathing techniques and a modern-day savage known as the Ice Man! I will not go into detail on Wim Hof as there is a plethora of information on him. After listening to him talk for a few minutes, I felt my body begin to vibrate as it does when I innately know something to be the truth! I paused and took a deep dive into the various breathing techniques. In South America, a statue was dug up in an archeological site. It was a statue of a man in the same pose I am in when I am doing my breathwork exercises! He was sitting crossed-legged, with his hands on his knees and his mouth in the form of blowing air! Like I said earlier, our ancestors are yelling at us from the past! It is an exciting time when the esoteric mystery schools, ancient scriptures, and mainstream science agree that breath is life! Not just any breath, a slow, nasal breath.
Four years ago, I started integrating a daily breathwork practice focused on nasal breathing. I quickly realized the difference in how I was feeling energetically throughout the day. I also realized that breathing solely through my nose was much more accessible. I used to have sleep apnea; I would snore and would wake up multiple times throughout the night to urinate. During my research, I discovered that sleeping with your mouth open prevents your body from producing the hormone vasopressin. This hormone tells your body to stop the pumps because you are sleeping. So, I began placing a small strip of tape on my mouth to keep my lips together while I slept. Thanks to this tiny strip of tape, I no longer wake up until it is time to wake up. Through much study and meditation, I developed a daily breathwork routine that would be most beneficial to me. I started to incorporate nasal breathing into my daily yoga practice. Being the extreme personality I can be, I quickly included nasal breathing into my running. To date, I can run 2 ½ miles without a single breath through my mouth! Pure nasal breathing!
I rediscovered breathwork in my constant search for tools that help with anxiety, depression, and anger issues. The literature shows a strong link between your emotions and your diaphragm. After years of doing the work, I can confirm that the literature is correct on this one! Incorporating a daily breathwork routine is essential for anyone trying to live their best life!
B.S. Culinary & Nutrition
A pulmonaut uses the science of nasal breathing to reduce anxiety, boost their immune system, increase lung capacity and blood circulation, reduce nasal infections and improve their overall quality of life!
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