In yoga asanas, there are few breathing exercises that existed in ancient India and I myself can attest to it that I was able to overcome lot of allergies practising it,
Here is a resource to follow along. https://youtu.be/iUKjuni-6l8 starts at 9 mins and goes on for 15 mins or so
And yes everyone breathes the wrong way, we pull in stomach when inhaling which is supposed to be otherway round, I know it's surprising to hear that we are breathing wrong. if you want the proof just notice a child breathing that's the most natural form of breathing
If you are looking for keywords to look up, the are anuloma viloma & kapalabathi.
Stay safe, stay healthy.
This stuff can really bring about powerful alternate states of mind, and I've personally experienced some deep spiritual and psychological release from oxygen breathing exercises.
At this point I've come to think that peoples' natural response during an anxiety attack, which is to hyperventilate, might actually be a healthy, desireable reaction. But we socially repress and stigmatize it. Fear and anxiety are uncomfortable to us, so instead of holding space for working through that stuff naturally, we stuff it.
I'm telling you though, the feeling relief that controlled hyperventilating can bring is unbelievable.
However, I have to put up a warning that hyperventilating doesn't actually increase oxygen levels. It's a dangerous practice because it surpasses the natural drive to breath by depleting CO2 in the blood to abnormally low levels.
Our breath drive depends on CO2 levels and can get fooled by hyperventilation into letting you black out from lack of oxygen. This section on Wikipedia explains the physics of the situation really well: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freediving_blackout#Shallow_wa...
Presumably it's a fight or flight response. It's redundant and counterproductive of course in many modern stress situations but if you had to fight off a predator or catch that animal the extra jolt of vascular activity probably makes perfect sense.
"Low levels of carbon dioxide cause tetany by altering the albumin binding of calcium such that the ionized (physiologically influencing) fraction of calcium is reduced; one common reason for low carbon dioxide levels is hyperventilation."
Four rounds in a row first thing in the morning blows coffee away by a long shot.
And the free app to make it easy to track progress:
I had to stop when the Russel Brand was trying to explain that the mediation quieted the narrative in his head. Hof attempted to finish his thought in exactly the wrong way, then pulled a 180 upon being corrected. Really had the feel of that guy in the mall trying to sell you hand cream...
Go read the clinical study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4034215/
Look up his list of Guinness records. Marathon in the desert. Climbed nearly to the top of Everest in shorts and no shirt. World record for longest breath hold underwater. etc.
Only someone who feels strange would even think to try these things.
There are plenty of resources on Nadi Shodhana -- I'd suggest Iyengar's "Light on Pranayama" -- but I'd recommend starting with a 1:1:1 ratio of inhale:hold:exhale counts through alternate nostrils, then moving on to 1:2:2 and then 1:4:2.
 PDF warning: https://physoc.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1113/EP086...
Wat? My stomach goes out when I inhale. I could not find any way to pull in my stomach and inhale.
I wonder is it related to prevalence of sitting?
Imagine a cartoon of someone taking a deep breath before blowing out a candle or something.
Try it. You end up breathing using your rib cage instead of your diaphragm.
Surprised you haven't got the old "anecdata is no data" response yet …
Interesting as in martial arts the kiai is from the base of the stomach clenching with a breath out.
More so as I breath in via the chest not the stomach, not given that much thought, though did a lot of competitive swimming and that may of played a part, not something I considered.
This statement confused me, so just to be clear, this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldNnKVGxabA demonstrates the correct way to breathe right?
Wrong - pull in stomach (breathe with chest)
Right - expand stomach
When we breathe, first the lungs fill up, as adults we exhale at this point. We should continue breathing until full lung capacity i.e until it pushes the diaphragm down which in turn pushes the stomach giving a sense of pot belly, if you have a pet or a child notice their stomach while they breathe.
There seems to be little confusion about chest/stomach breathing. We draw air with lungs which reside in the chest, its just that we are training our body to take deep and longer breaths we get a feeling that we are drawing with stomach
As PG says one needs child like curiosity, we need to child like breathing :)
>>> Respiratory cleansing purifies your entire body. It pacifies the three doshas and strengthens the seven dhatus. It flushes your lungs and blood with fresh and excess oxygen that results in definitive strengthening of your immune system and your overall wellbeing. Respiratory cleansing has a calm effect on your mind as well. It improves your memory, virility (or fertility) and strengthens your neurological system. According to the yogic texts, it allows the practitioner to live longer and healthier. It is called pranayama. Prana means vital life force and yama means to elongate it. The science of pranayama is a different subject matter and is not part of the mainstream Ayurveda.
For all the breathing exercises, it is more rewarding to sit cross-legged. Sitting in this posture allows you better control on the flow of the vital energies in the body. In case, you can't sit cross-legged, it is okay to sit in a chair. Breathing exercises should not be done while lying down. In all the exercises, your back and neck should be in one straight line. Your posture needs to be firm and straight but not tense. It is best to do these exercises on empty stomach in the morning. If you are doing it during the day or at night, make sure there is a minimum of two-hour gap between your meal and the exercise. And, that's assuming you had a light vegetarian meal because a light vegetarian meal completely digests in two hours.
If you had a heavier meal, you may want to increase the gap to three hours or more. Start all breathing exercises with an exhalation first. This is a subtle but extremely significant point. Exhalation allows you to expel toxic air in your system. If you start with an inhalation, you simply pressurize the foul air to circulate through your system. A general rule of thumb is to be followed for all yogic exercises: if they make you uncomfortable, stop right away and seek expert guidance.
Simple Deep Breathing
Simple deep breathing is a hassle-free, potent and easy exercise. Assuming you have followed the prerequisites, just sit comfortably, rest your hands in your lap if you are sitting cross legged or on your knees if you are sitting in a chair. Start with exhale as per prerequisit. Inhale deeply and gently with both nostrils. Fill your belly and lungs with fresh air. Do not hold it and instead start exhaling gently. Pull your stomach in as you exhale and gently push your stomach out as you inhale.
Simple deep breathing can be done for fifteen minutes in the morning. Do it for five minutes and take a break of two minutes and then do it for another five minutes.
Alternate breathing is a type of pranayama that is excellent for neurological and respiratory cleansing and detoxification. It forms part of the nervous-system-purification (nadi-shodhana) regime. It is called anuloma-viloma in yogic texts.
To do alternate breathing, follow the prerequisites. As always, start with complete exhalation with both nostrils. Put the thumb of your right hand on your right nostril to close it. Now breathe deeply, steadily and gently through your left. DO not hold the breath. Put the middle finger of your right hand on the left nostril and lift your thumb to open the right nostril. Exhale completely, steadily and gently. Ideally, your exhalation should be so soft that you should not even hear yourself breathing out. Yogic scriptures state the standard one-four-two rule for pranayama. It means if it takes you one second to breath in, for example, you should hold the breath for four seconds (four times the length of inhalation) and exhale over two seconds (double the length of inhalation). However, as I stated earlier, retention of breath should be done only if you have been guided by an expert and if you are observing all the rules.
At one stretch you can do twenty repetitions. One complete repetition is inhale from the left, hold, exhale from the right, inhale from the right, hold, and then exhale from the left. This is one repetition. If you have the time, you are free to do it twice or even thrice a day. There is no better purifier of your entire nervous system than pranayama. It is nothing short of a miracle exercise handed down to us by the ancient yogis.
Some actions which I have experienced in a positive way of reducing AHI:
- Hiking / workout before going to bed
- Quit consuming drinks containing alcohol.
Any other suggestions would be great and very welcome!
I used to meditate an hour a day when I was in my 20s, and now, being in my 40s, I can measurably feel the difference of not meditating regularly. Its time to really get dedicated to it.
So I approached a voice training coach. It seems everything -- from delivery, pauses, speed of delivery to sore throats -- could be improved if one could pay attention to proper breath control, and diaphragmatic breathing. I can certainly attest to that.
I wanted to work on my enunciation as well, in addition to loudness, cadence, nasality etc. My speaking style is staccato, and I emphasise too many words. That she corrected by telling me to read from a fully prepared script if I could help it, which is useful for recordings in these times! That got rid of the staccato, because my low-bitrate brain was freed from having to figure out what clever thing to say next :)
Then to work on the cadence, I had to underline at most two words per line, which would most effectively deliver the import of that line.
Finally, breath control. "Speaking from the diaphragm" is a real thing. There's a daily regimen of vocalization and breathing exercises that I do. My neighbors look at me oddly. But these exercises do help. Good breath control allows you to deliver a long line, with appropriate pauses and cadence, without feeling your tank is going to empty soon.
Most useful tip he gave me: in between sentences focus on breathing out, instead of breathing in. If you clear your lungs they will take care of filling up automatically.
I've also noticed when listening to a presentation that some presenters are a lot easier to listen to. I'd like to improve my presentations in that way - that means tone, pacing, enunciation, etc.
Would definitely be interested in some coaching and zero interest in singing. I wonder if it’s something you can do via zoom? Especially these days ...
Don't bother with stretching rituals unless you have extra time to burn -- they don't really make a difference versus simply running within your current comfort zone. Half of the running biz is a meditation on the state of your body during and between runs (the other half is scheduling, and that's aaaaall different now.)
Also, if you have 'gunky lungs' (either standard cold/flu or COVID-19) wait until you are mostly gunk-free before running!
Are there any long term studies about the health effects of running in polluted cities ?
Out of the blue I found this paper finding a relationship between worse performance and pollution in marathons.
Anyway, if anyone is interested in a practical application from a scholarly source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2971640/
Wait, what? People are taught how to breathe? Is this really a thing?
Perhaps it's something specific to American culture.
Watch any lessons in pranayama you will know it’s part of daily routine taught to many Indians and now most yoga practitioners learn it.
Don't push your stomach out. Let the stomach be pushed out when you breathe in. There's a difference.
The simplest way (I think) to find a 'deep'/connected breath, is to breathe slowly all the way out, making a 's' sound, until there is no more air left. Then, hold for about 4 seconds. Now just relax and let the body breathe in on its own.
At some point you learn to separate action and observation: you can focus your attention on the breath, meaning the sensations associated with breathing (air flowing through your nostrils and over your upper lip, belly slowly moving), and still let your body control the breathing action automatically.
In The Mind Illuminated, there is a comparison of this to catching a ball: instead of seeing the ball and trying to directly control your arm to catch it, you focus on your intention ("Catch the ball") and let your body simply act on (implement) this intention.
The great thing is that while you practice this separation of action and observation using the breath, it will apply generally to your life. Very powerful for managing your emotions: instead of being your emotion when you become aware of it, and identifying with the urge to act on it, you learn to observe the emotion without that observation having direct effects on your actions. You can choose to act on it, or choose not to.
Diaphragm breathing is also part of the training for classical flute players to breathe. It is how babies breathe naturally.
"To do this, you’ll need to control your diaphragm by using your abdominal muscles to press your abdomen forward, allowing your diaphragm to flex downward."
Then the article goes into stretching ...
Short version: breathe in deep belly breaths for four seconds, hold for four seconds, breathe out for four seconds, hold for four seconds. Do this is a quiet and dark room and it helps with stress, anxiety, etc.
I got into it when Joe Defranco mentioned a progressive version of this on his podcast: breathe in for one second, hold for one, breathe out for one, hold for one. Then breathe in for two seconds, hold for two, breathe out for two, hold for two. Then breathe in for three seconds, hold for three, breathe out for three, hold for three. So on and so forth. Most people can get to six seconds, but not much more past that. This progression technique has helped with my diaphragm strength and breath-bracing (I do a lot of heavy weight training).
I'm an anesthesiologist/intensivist and this is how I'm preparing.
Maybe an MD will chime in, however in case not imo the diaphragmatic training is only beneficial for singers and yogis and others who need to do large diaphram style breaths. Most people will go back to their normal style of breathing even if they're trained and practice diaphragmatic breathing after they're done concentrating.
If I had to recommend one thing to buy for a regular person to use, it would probably be a really simple inspiratory/expiratory trainer. Basically you inhale and blow through a hole and it strengthens your lungs.
This one is low tech and bombproof, cheap, easy to disinfect and used a lot in the field:
To be honest, I didn't practice in the field very long as an RT because I fell into hospital IT after my rotations and took to it like a duck to water and ended up really enjoying that as a career.
I'm gonna refer you to this study which - you are right- does show the insp/exp trainers help to strengthen breathing muscles. So perhaps it's the equivalent of using weights at the gym vs just doing diaphragm breathing exercises.
Also these are generally exercises one can do at home.
This link contains some actual guidance.
Thanks for the link.
Any comments on the following: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22662071
These exercises definitely helped me prepare my lungs for the stress of what is essentially running and playing a brass instrument at the same time for ten minutes. Even though they are meant for Marching Band and Drum Corps, I would still recommend breathing gym for anyone who wants to be a stronger breather.
I was lazy and apathetic, so the fault was mine, but it's just worth noting that while it may be helpful it's not sufficient.