The goal is to write a simple and effective breathing exercise to oxygenate the body.
The exercise is based on the buteyko breathing method.
At the end I will explain some of the science behind it and my own experiences from practicing it.
This exercise will oxygenate your body and not just your blood, read through it once so that you know how to approach it. Ideally you should not have had a meal directly prior to doing this, depending on the size and content of your meal preferably wait an hour if you have just eaten.
You will be breathing only through your nose for this exercise.
Sit or stand with a straight spine in a comfortable position.
Become aware of your breath.
Calmly breathe in and out, sinking into a feeling of well being on each relaxed exhale.
It is important that you keep breathing through your nose.
That in itself is a short and simple exercise that you can keep doing every minute of every day.
Once you are comfortable with the first part, you will be reducing your breathing, both in volume and frequency, breathing in slightly less air than you would normally do.
Keep doing it for a minute or two(5-10minutes is also fine).
Can you feel your heart rate slowing down?
Do you feel your mouth starting to salivate?
Can you feel your body getting warmer and more relaxed?
The key is to breathe very lightly without creating a need to gasp for air.
You can imagine that there is a feather under your nose and you are trying to breathe so lightly that it doesn’t move by the flow of air.
You should stay comfortable and be able to maintain this breathing with ease for 5-10 minutes even if you were to do it for a shorter period of time. The temptation may be to lower your breathing too much, but that is likely going to cause stress and discomfort. Slight air hunger is what you are going for.
That is it, the most basic version of the exercise. You should feel relaxed and energized.
If you want to supercharge the exercise, start humming at the exhale and do short breath holds before each inhale. Be careful not to overdo it though, stay comfortable. If you need to gasp for air, you overdid it.
Once you get comfortable with the exercise you can also start to envision yourself powering up and recharging. You can use the imagery of the Triumph of Spirit cards if you like.
The idea behind this exercise is to build up the Co2 content of your blood. It is not just a waste gas like you probably have been told. It is needed in the transfer of oxygen to the cells as described by the bohr effect1.
The humming, apart from making you feel good, actually does something as well. It greatly increases the level of Nitric Oxide2 in your sinuses which is a gas that has antimicrobial and antifungal properties3.
Even though an exercise like this can make you feel good, it is of little use if you do not change your way of breathing throughout the rest of the day and night. From my personal experience I did not find it too difficult to completely switch to nasal breathing. The most difficult part is exercising, but even that is becoming a lot easier. One big problem is having your nose clogged up, and as soon as you start running or doing something straneous it becomes very evident and your nose will start to run.
However, it does get better with time and the benefits are very noticeable.
Thus far I am noticing being a lot more energetic.
For the past months I have been averaging 6h of sleep per night and waking up refreshed, I used to require 8h and still could feel very tired.
My problem of cold hands has gotten dramatically better.
Quite simply by oxygenating your body you are giving your body the chance to perform better.
I would say that changing the way I breathe is proving to be the most physically beneficial change in my life thus far. For example changing to a vegan diet did wonderful things to my health, but that can only take you so far if you are not able to digest your food properly because of low body oxygenation.
This is just one short exercise that I have shared, I would recommend getting familiar with the buteyko breathing method or yogic breathing with emphasis on breathe control. Ie. To reduce ones breathing.
1Which in short describes the physiological phenomenon of an increase in CO2, lowering the blood pH, resulting in the hemoglobin releasing their oxygen molecules, thus oxygenating our cells. When the CO2 levels are too low, the oxygen molecules stick to the hemoglobin resulting in less oxygen for our cells. Heavy breathing leads to loss of CO2. As a last resort during exercise the body will start to produce lactic acid to lower the ph of our blood, which releases oxygen to the cells. Although by then your muscles are screaming for oxygen and it is difficult to keep on going.