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Simple breathing exercise could activate the brain to 100%?

I want to share few things, which have made a strong impression on me latelly.

One friend sent me a short interview. It is an interview with the “iceman” – Vim Hof. His use of language is maybe not most refined, but I find it is really worth watching.

He says that his experiments have been all scientifically tested and if it true, it is amazing. In particular nowadays. He states that this simple breathing exercise can activate the brain to 100% and besides that fight lots of psychological diseases and viruses. I am definitely going to try it out.

The friend, who shared it with me, wrote to me that if we want to proceed safely on the spiritual path, we have to get cleaned all the emotional “debris” from the system. And I believe that breathing is very powerful. Just recently I attended my last level of hypnotherapy course. And the teacher started the class with breathing technics! He is Indian, he said: “Breathing is unconscious. If we breath consciously, the air becomes prana, the prana becomes awareness; the life becomes full of awareness, through this simple process.”

Here is the link:

And one more interesting point to this subject. There is again a Scandinavian deep diver and medical doctor, the founder of “Bretheaology”. He hit the world record of holding the breath for 22 minutes, even though he had asthma as a child. His book is also interesting. I attach it here for those interested.

Pranayama has been always an important part of yoga. Today it is interesting to see the benefits or results of the practice backed up by scientific research.

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Hi Mohini

Thanks for sharing this. My very fist psych course was taught be an existentialist psychologist who trained in India for some time in his early years, and it was he who introduced to me the concept of breathing and its importance to psychological and physical well being. I can't recall the actual statistic, but he was saying that most people forget how to breathe as the age i.e. we are born into the world knowing how to breath, but that over time, I would suspect when I our voices are repressed, suppressed, and oppressed, in order to not "feel" we adapt to shallow breathing i.e. from our chest and not from our diaphragm.

Oxygenation requires us to breathe purposely - when we can oxygenate our bodies fully, we allow important nutrients to get to our furthest extremities. Teaching people how to breathe properly can be challenging, especially when people are afraid of the sensations that they feel that are foreign to them, but healing and breathing are one in the same.


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Hi, Postnihilist,

I read your post straightaway and I wanted to reply to you. Sorry, I do it just now. I’ve been too much busy with different things.

So, first I wanted to thank you for sharing this. The experience you describe I find really very valuable and I am sure that many people could benefit from it.

I would share my experience, but I haven’t been doing this particular exercise regularly, so I can’t say much. But I am going to start practicing it soon, when I finish my courses and have more time.

There are few things I would like to say about breathing exercises from my and my friends experiences, who practice this since many years, if you would be interested.

Even if I practice hatha yoga since more then 20 years, and pranayama is an important part of it, I never did it regularly. The reason is that I felt very cautious towards breathing practices; because they really strongly affect my awareness. I mainly practiced cleaning and balancing exercises, such as Kapalabhati and Anuloma Viloma. One time I did the later one for 30 minutes and I felt as if the upper part of the scalp wasn’t there any more; as if the energy enters the head freely and with no resistance. This was not scary. It was interesting.

But otherwise (maybe you have noticed from some of my postings here), if the effect is too strong, which expresses itself in a way that the reality I am used to and can “explain”, starts changing too much, I get scared and must stop immediately. This effect I noticed many times with breathing exercises and it comes very fast. I did 2 times the breathing technique from Stanislaf Groff. But as I did it alone, again, it was too strong; I stopped it.

But those people, who do not experience this fear, I think could have interesting experiences with breathing practice as an additional tool. Those my friends, who practice the breathing exercises, tell me that the fastest way to change the awareness or perception is through controlled breathing.

I think, what Wim Hof developed, might be his own inventions, which he experimented with and got certain results.

It is the same with Pranayama, in my opinion. Yoga is the result of experiments, which have been time tested and results were systematized into a science, Pranayama. They distinguish between 3 different pranas clearly, describe the effects, with pranayama you can work on 3 main energy channels, etc. I think, be it Wim Hof or the Yogis, they noticed, that breathing has an effect on the body-mind system and the energy body and developed it into a science or a method.

The friend, who proposed me to do this exercise of Wim Hof, told me that it is one way to clean all emotional “debris” from the system (things, for which people would go to the psychologists or psychotherapists) in order to move safely on the spiritual path. And exactly with that intent I want to use these breathing exercises, which would result in this "cleaning". And I prefer that way than going to a therapist. And this emotional waste we all do have to some extent.

Just, if you would be interested to know, my friend suggested to do the exercise a bit differently; not as in the video I shared. And he said that this exercise is not “dangerous” and even children could benefit from it.

Lying relaxed on the back do 30 x slow full exhalations (contract stomach) with full inhalations through nose (expanding diaphragm). Then forcefully exhale and inhale to the maximum capacity. Then do the maximum retention with root lock and throat lock. And to do 3 rounds of this, 3 times 30 with 3 retentions.

So, he suggests additionally to do the bandhas, the locks of throat and root chakras, which gives a much stronger effect. If I do the root chakra lock, for example, I instantly feel the energy moving upwards. He also suggests to do the retention after the inhalation. He says that the retention after the exhalation is for beginners. I do not know, if he is right. I just know that the effect is different, dependently on when you do the retention.

Then I want to share some additional information.

There is another important aspect, why my friend suggested to me to do that exercise. It is because of the energy. In the yoga we practice, we “believe” that the changes we want to achieve (aiming at the physical transformation), we do not achieve ourselves, but the divine energy, the creative shakti, is doing this yoga in the body. So, my friend said that this evolutionary energy “loves breathing exercises”.

He also said that especially if you manage to do the retention above 4 minutes, interesting things start happening. He didn’t say, what exactly happens and I never managed to do longer than 2 minutes. But there is another Russian yogi I knew, who said that if you do the retention for longer than 4 minutes, you would step out of the linear time perception. He says that time perception has everything to do with the breathing.

And also if you hear of yogis, who manage to stop the heart beat, they do it also through the controlled breathing. They say that once you manage to control the breathing, you can control the limbic system, and in that way the heart beat and also more things are possible, such as, creating the substances in the body for your nourishment, creating your own food so to say, that you do not depend on the food, etc.

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