We can live without food and water for an extended period of time but without air, we die within minutes. You are about to learn some techniques and secrets of breath control. These methods have been used for over 5,000 years. Yoga masters have been known to be able to slow their heart to just one beat per minute and take one breath per minute. We all know that people can breathe and we know that people can breathe in and out without having to think about it. The interesting thing is we can also control our breath and by controlling your breath you can learn to extend your endurance. If you learn the yogic art of pranayama, or breath control and practice the following breathing exercises, you will most likely be surprised at how dramatically your endurance improves.
Your diaphragm is your major respiratory muscle. The diaphragm is a mushroom shaped muscle that moves up and down when we breathe. What’s unique about the diaphragm is that fact that it’s a skeletal muscle just like your biceps and your quadriceps and all your other muscles that you control. This means that you can control, strengthen and train your diaphragm just like you would with your other muscles.
When you breathe in, your diaphragm moves downward, massaging the organs and the lower back while at same time your lungs are sucking in air and filling like two vacuum bags. Poorly oxygenated blood is pumped over to the lungs where it picks up new oxygen and drops off toxins. The oxygenated blood is brought back over to the heart where it is then pumped through to the entire body. The blood delivers oxygen, nutrients and energy to your muscles to able you to do work. When you breathe out, the diaphragm moves back upward and compresses the lungs which pushes out carbon dioxide, gaseous toxins and debris.
The key secret
Before beginning the breathing exercises, it is important to know that the ability to slow down the exhalation and breathe out longer than you breathe in is the key to being able to slow down your heart beat and extend your endurance. You must learn to breathe deeper and breathe slower. Yoga believes that you should breathe as if you were only given a certain quantity of breaths for your entire life and when that last breath occurs, you die. If this were true, how slowly would you breathe?
The following exercises are especially designed for divers, rock climbers, bikers and any other athlete who wants to expand and increase their lung capacity and extend their endurance. Each exercise has a goal which you may or may not be able to do right away. If you have any conditions, please speak to your doctor before practicing any of these exercises. Especially created for WideWorld is a you tube video with some breath instruction – sear
Breathe in for 10 seconds and phonate for 20 seconds.
Because the power is in extending the exhalation, when we speak, we are exhaling.
Get comfortable in a seated position
Breathe in deeply and slowly all the way down to the bottom of your lungs and while you breathe in mentally count how many seconds you breathe in for.
Make the sound AHHH out loud and mentally count how many seconds you breathe out for.
Three Part Breathing Laying Down
Breathe in for 10 seconds and breathe out for 20 seconds
Get Comfortable. Lay down on your back with your feet hip width apart, knee’s bent and collapsing onto one another. Make sure your head is comfortable, you can use a pillow.
Bring your right hand onto your abdomen. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Only breathe in and out through the nose in this exercise.
As you inhale notice your abdomen rising, your ribcage expanding outwards and your clavicle slightly lifting and as you exhale, notice your ribcage moving inwards and your abdomen moving towards your spine. Again, mentally count the heart beats you take to inhale and count the heart beats you take to exhale. Focus on extending and slowing down your exhalations and as you do so, you may feel your heart beat slow down.
Get your breath to the point where you can double the length of your exhalation. For example if you breathe in for five seconds, breathe out for ten seconds.
Breathe like this, progressively deepening the breath for a few minutes before you move onto the next step.
Add on to the above. At the end of your exhalations gently squeeze the abdomen in. This will lift your diaphragm and compress your lungs like a dirty sponge and push out all residual, stale air.
Three Part Breathing Sitting Up
Breathe in for 6 seconds and breathe out for 12 seconds
Same as three part breathing laying down, just sitting up now.
Breathe in for 4 seconds gently and calmly hold for the count of 16 heart beats, exhale for at least 8 seconds
Use a stop watch here seeing how 16 heartbeats becomes a longer and longer period of time.*
Sitting up, repeat the three part breathing exercise except now and the end of your inhalation, hold the breath for as long as it is comfortably possible. Every day you can extend the hold a little longer.
While holding the breath gently lower your chin and squeeze your pelvic muscles, like a keegal. This locks the air and the energy. Before you exhale release the locks.
After you exhale really slowly, finish by squeezing the abdominals in and upwards towards the spine which will push out more stale air.
* If you are a diver you should progressively extend the amount of time you hold for.
For more information, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVgkcVjy0AY