Breathing exercises are usually associated with meditation teachings. Most people are taught to breathe a certain way to meditate and relax but how many understand the common sense truth about what breathing training is all about? So my goal in this post is to present not only the simple physiological secret behind Yogic breathing practices, but to show you a very simple technique that will have you breathing like a Yogi master.
Let’s first identify some simple misconceptions about breathing. Number one is that oxygen is the good gas you want to take in and CO2 is the bad gas you want to get rid of. Or to put it in other words, the more oxygen you pump into the body the better off you are, and you must get rid of CO2 or you will get CO2 poisoning. Actually this is probably one of the most damaging misconceptions that pervades the average person’s thinking. These popular misunderstandings have been refuted by extensive research performed in Russia by Doctor Konstantin Pavlovich Buteyko and several other Russian researchers. To get an in depth understanding of these teachings please go to normal breathing. Since it requires many hours to go through all that information, and some might find it too complicated, here is the simple version.
So why is breathing retraining so important? First, let me digress just a bit and point out the number reason we suffer: We resist receiving that which gives life! We humans fight like hell to not let go! To put it in blunt terms, we choke to death, figuratively and literally, due to deep subconscious resistance. This resistance is a twisting, sucking, grabbing resistance that blocks the flow of energy. The habituated mind, goes into a gripping state, due to it’s inability to let go.
Now in Chinese medicine the clinical word for this phenomena is called chi stagnation. The mind’s inability to find peace and let go is much more violent and damaging than most realize. So the greatest challenge in all healing is to teach someone to let go! The entirety of my work, represents years of research and development into finding ways to undo and retrain the mind and body’s natural tendency to choke itself into stress, suffering and premature death.
If we realize that we indeed want to let go but see that the mind doesn’t know how we inquire: “How do we train our minds into relaxation?” This becomes the most crucial first question to ask. Next we ask: “What is the relationship between the subconscious mind and its action on the body?” And vice versa: “How does the physiology effect the subconscious mind?” Further questions are: “How much control does the subconscious have and is there a deeper order and intelligence beyond the mind itself? Is there a way to allow this order to assist the mind to let go?”
It is imperative to understand that if we can let go and unlock our gripping constricted state, we begin to allow a much more sublime influx of subtle intelligent life force into our existence. Also we become more aware of the power of the subconscious mind itself and actively seek to transform it’s very essence. The wisest road to healing is to unblock your resistance against divine intelligence. One must learn how to knock down the walls of resistance.
So why breathing retraining and what is the simple easy way to accomplish this? The key to receiving an abundance of life giving oxygen is to let go of our state of constriction. CO2 is a miraculous gas that causes our nervous system to relax, creates vaso-dilation and intelligently distributes the oxygen where needed. CO2 is one of the “letting go” gases. Another example is Nitric Oxide. Since most people over breathe, they do not retain enough CO2 in their bodies and therefore can’t receive optimum oxygenation. It is a vicious cycle as the stress response then becomes worse and we hyperventilate causing further depletion of CO2. The key discovery of Dr. Buteyko was that if we breath fewer cycles per minute, we will retain more CO2 and thereby achieve optimal oxygen delivery. When the body is bathed in oxygen it becomes much healthier. Oxygen is one of God’s great forces on earth that represents life itself.
Now the easy part. Dr. Buteyko’s solution was to teach people a technique which trains one to breath less but frankly that approach takes a concerted focus and discipline. Most people don’t possess that discipline and patience to practice under breathing, partially because they are addicted to stress, and also because stress has a strange way of demanding you stay in that habit. Another prominent Russian in the breathing revolution, who studied Buteyko’s work, invented a device, named after him, called the “Frolov Device.” This device, which one breathes into, simply creates resistance and CO2 reuptake. When you exhale, the “Frolov Device” captures some of your CO2 and then sends it back into the body when you inhale. As a result you achieve greater relaxation and more efficient breathing. Over time one increases the resistance of the device and you develop greater efficiency in each and every breathing cycle. You essentially utilize less oxygen more efficiently. Once the resistance is removed and you return to normal breathing, you are able, with each breath, to deliver oxygen much more deeply into the body. This practice dramatically improves oxygen receptivity.
Now the last piece that truly simplifies the process, is that instead of using the Frolov device, you can use a number of breathing devices sold on amazon that do exactly what the “Frolov Device” does but are much easier to use. Please google “sports training mask.” Read reviews and make sure you get right size mask for your body weight. I prefer masks with 16 levels.
Unlike with the “Frolov Device”, you don’t have to sit still in one place and hold these devices in your hand. You can do any activity while wearing these breathing retraining devices. Like the “Frolov Device”, they create CO2 reuptake and the ability to incrementally increase resistance. Once you grasp the simple genius of CO2 reuptake and its implications, you will be on your way to being able to say “I learned to breath like a Yogic master with no effort.” And after all, isn’t the goal of Yogic teaching to find true peace and relaxation, to find a state of being and grace whose action is beneficial to all?