Breathing is defined by biologists as a rhythmic, involuntary action practiced by the body to provide it with sufficient levels of Oxygen. Most of us breath almost 12-20 times every minute and it is part of the most powerful instinct: to stay alive! While it does fulfill this basic purpose, breathing is actually much more than that. The ancient practitioners of spiritual healing have used conscious breathwork to calm nerves, re-energize the body, be more situationally aware, have a better vision and even accelerate the healing of the body from an injury itself.
Here is an intense breathing exercise recommended by mystic traditions to get most out of your body and mind. However, patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases, high intraocular pressure and glaucoma, retinal detachments, aneurysms and high blood pressure should avoid this altogether since it might be too heavy for their weakened systems to sustain. While you are doing the exercise, it is completely normal for you to experience a wide spectrum of feelings like joy, sleep, serenity, altered mindset and a sense of deep relaxation. If you have difficulty doing any of these steps, it is okay to stop at any time.
First find a firm, flat surface to lie down. An exercise mat is probably the best solution but soft grass outdoors is great too. Many people use a pillow under their heads and a rolled blanket under their knees. For the first run, keep it to twenty min max and don’t overdo it. Also, do it with a partner who can help supervise it as well. First, take a slow deep breath and then exhale all of it in a slow, rhythmic manner until all of it is gone and your lungs come outward a bit. Then you take a deep breath with the same speed ensuring your lungs get full with air. Without any breaks between breathing, do this for several minutes. There should be no gaps in between inhaling and exhaling and don’t inhale breath in between. It is a pattern of consistent breathing so that a breathing cycle can be established.
You will need to breath a little faster than normal routine but don’t breath so fast that it creates unnatural tension in your body. The body should be completely relaxed during the entire process and this breathing cycle should be maintained for a longer period. You can use either the mouth or the nose for this purpose, you can also alternate between the two like breathing through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. The bottom line is that the breathing must not be labored and try to be as relaxed as possible. At about 10-15 minutes mark, you will experience an amazing tingling in your extremities and insides like Euphoria or an alternative raised state of awareness.
After twenty minutes are up, your timer should be ringing and you should slowly and purposefully bring your breathing back to normal. Take time to come back to reality and notice the surroundings around you. All of it coming back is a lot to take and it might leave you feeling dazed or dizzy for some time. Once your breathing is back to normal, you will begin to appreciate the fruits of this amazing exercise. It is not easy as it sounds and takes every bit of your mental coordination to make it happen. People who have no previous experience of yoga or controlling breathing might not be able to do it at all in the first try.
This heightened sense of being is achieved due to a deliberate overdose of Oxygen from the surroundings. Our body knows the adequate amount of Oxygen it needs so it only breaths when necessary. When we are inhaling and exhaling in a rhythmic manner, our muscles and brain are relaxed beyond normal levels and thus we begin to experience this indescribable feeling on heightened nerve response. It is truly out of the world. You need to do it in order to know what I am talking about. It’s better than pure Oxygen shots that I can tell you!