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Gem

Breathing for mood and well being (yoga and other techniques)

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Gem

I wanted to share this breathing technique with people as I have found it helpful and calming in withdrawal. It’s called Alternate Nostril Breathing (Anuloma Viloma).

 

I used it recently when I couldn’t sleep (my heart was over-beating and I couldn’t get something out of my head). I also listened to a relaxation recording and I was able to get to sleep reasonably quickly.

 

I don’t actually use the proper hand position (although it’s probably a good idea) and find that it still helps.

It is said to be calming for the mind and nervous system.

 

The following information is taken from this link:

 

http://www.abc-of-yoga.com/pranayama/basic/viloma.asp

 

Anuloma Viloma is also called the Alternate Nostril Breathing Technique. In this Breathing Technique, you inhale through one nostril, retain the breath, and exhale through the other nostril in a ratio of 2:8:4.

 

In Anuloma Viloma, you adopt the Vishnu Mudra with your right hand to close your nostrils. Tuck your index and middle finger into your nose. Place the thumb by your right nostril and your ring and little fingers by your left.

 

One Round of Anuloma Viloma (Alternate Nostril Breathing)

 

  • Inhale through the left nostril, closing the right with the thumb, to the count of four.

  • Hold the breath, closing both nostrils, to the count of sixteen.

  • Exhale through the right nostril, closing the left with the ring and little fingers, to the count of eight.

  • Inhale through the right nostril, keeping the left nostril closed with the ring and little fingers, to the count of four.

  • Hold the breath, closing both nostrils, to the count of sixteen.

  • Exhale through the left nostril, keeping the right closed with the thumb, to the count of eight.

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Altostrata

Thank you, Gem. Another variation on mindful breathing. If one technique doesn't work for you, try another!

 

Very good to hear it's helped you.

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Gem

Thanks Alto, I hope it helps someone else. It's really worth trying.

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Shanti

Has anyone tried Pranayama? Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia:

 

Pranayama (Sanskrit: प्राणायाम prāṇāyāma) is a Sanskrit word meaning "extension of the prana or breath" or more accurately, "extension of the life force". The word is composed of two Sanskrit words, Prāna, life force, or vital energy, particularly, the breath, and "āyāma", to extend, draw out, restrain, or control.

 

Introduction to Pranayama:

 

http-~~-//www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvdiMjSgItg

 

If you go directly to the

page, you'll see on the right other lessons from this lady. She does a good job of explaining it!

 

From "Everything Yoga: Pranayama"

"Derived from Sanskrit, Pranayama means the "lengthening of the prana or breath". The practice itself is an ancient method of mindful breathing which has its roots in yogic methods. Given its long history, pranayama has, not surprisingly, proven to be an effective treatment for both depression and anxiety in clinical trials."

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spectio

Hi, Shanti: Yes, I have practiced pranayama for many years. My brother was a TM teacher and taught me both to meditate and the pranayama. The technique he taught me was one of breathing in through one nostril while holding a finger on the other nostril and breathing out through the nostril you blocked and this was a cycle. You block one and breath in or out of the other nostril. I think the point is that it focuses your thinking on breathing which is a powerful anxiety releiver. I would do it for 5 or 10 minutes before meditating. do it at least twice a day. Anjother breathing technique is to lay out flat on the ground, put your palms on your belly and practice deep abdominal breathing. It also relieves anxiety and is the first breathing process I ever used to alleviate general anxiety disorder. Putting breathing techniques together with meditation and yoga is a wonderful process but does need to be practiced every day. It is all very easy. Hoping for a good day for you and everyone.

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Shanti

Hi Spectio. Thanks for sharing your experience in this. I think I'll give it a try. I started doing this a few years ago before I was sick. So I don't know how it is with withdrawals but I'm sure it can only help.

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Shanti

Well, I've been doing the alternate nose breathing every night before bed. 10 minutes. It made a big difference from the start. I haven't had any involuntary inbreath, no brain zaps or jerks either. It's now part of my bedtime ritual. I'll post the second video that shows how to do it as spectio described.

 

 

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Shanti

I knew I should've given it a couple more days before I reported. I just tried to take a nap and had a brain zap. Well, I think that it's really good for my nervous system and brain anyway, and not having the deep inbreaths.

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spectio

Hi Shanti,I'm glad you tried the pranayama and hope you'll continue with it. if you can, do it twice a day, every day. The one thing you will notice is the relaxation . I do it before meditating a.m & p.m. Many times, I tend to fall asleep. Take it as a natural ""therapy", with no side effects, or tendency towards stimulating you. You can't beat the extra oxygen getting to where it needs to go--our brains. Peace to you, my friend! :)

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Shanti

Okay, I'll do it morning and night. I feel like I'm doing something to repair my nervous system, since I can't get any exercise. It helps a lot. I realize now I had the flare up of symptoms because I went for a walk. I rested all day yesterday and had no symptoms last night :)

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InNeedOfHope

Not sure if this is in the right topic. I am a million miles away from doing anything like this, but I thought yoga might help in the future. Yet, today I read this article:

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2084334/Strokes-retina-damage-trapped-nerves-Is-yoga-doing-harm-good.html

 

Is there anything left that does not harm, maim or kill people? You think aromatherapy might help and then read a cancer scare story, perhaps it is WD but it seems that negative stories are to people in WD, magnets.

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enufodat

Anyone know about or have opinions about pranayama breathing or especially the Art of Living Foundation, which has a particular program of this that you learn during a weekend workshop? artofliving.org The website, honestly, looks a little cultish to me. But I know two people who've done it. One says it makes all the difference and she's not missed a day of the practice (20 mins) in over ayear. The other thought it was good and worthwhile, but she decided to stick with her regular Zen meditation practice, to keep her efforts there. Richard Brown, at Columbia Med School, has written a couple of scholarly articles on this stuff and teaches something similar to AOL in his workshops. Any thoughts? Thanks, E

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GiaK

I know nothing about that particular foundation but I do know that yogic breathing (that is what pranayama is) in general can be very powerful and helpful and healing...

 

I've used it a bit to good effect and intend to incorporate more as I learn more.

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Shanti

I practice Pranayama, but I know nothing of that organization you're talking about. Pranayama is a Yoga exercise that puts more oxygen in your blood stream and helps heal the brain by giving it more oxygen. It is very helpful. I was having trouble with weird breathing jerks for a while in the w/d process and the Pranayama helped that too. It's also very helpful for relaxing when you have anxiety.

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JanCarol

Art of Living promotes hyperventilation.  I prefer a less activating, less bhakti practice.

 

I wanted to post a few exercises that fall under the category of Pranayam, that I use regularly.

 

Yoga:

Belly breathing:  This is ensuring that your breath goes deep into your belly.  When we are anxious, we tend to pant like a dog, keeping the breath in the upper chest.  Belly breathing deepens the breath, and is a prerequisite for all these other techniques.

 

Total breath - maharaj pranayam (royal breath) - start by pulling the breath into the belly, and as you do, also feel it fill your lower back, as well.  Next, expand your ribcage and fill your lungs, then lift your sternum and fill your upper chest (the "compassion" chakra between throat and heart).  When you exhale, release from the upper chest first, then the ribs, then let your belly fall back into your chest, even lifting your belly a bit to lock the breath out before you inhale again.

 

Ujayi breathing - seashell breath - slowing the breath down by letting it hiss on the back of your throat and internal sinuses.  Very calming to vagus and sympathetic nervous system, helps with sleep apnoea.

 

Alternate nostril breathing (demonstrated above) - take right hand and place index and middle finger on bridge of nose.  Use the ring finger to close the left nostril, inhale through the right.  Hold briefly, then switch - use the thumb to block the right nostril, and exhale through the left.  Then, inhale through the left, hold briefly, and switch to ring finger closing left nostril again as you exhale through the right.  That is one cycle.  This balances the brain, helps to release sticky thoughts and obsessions, calms the limbic system (fight or flight physical responses).  It can be combined with Ujayi breathing.

 

Gentle cleansing breath:  inhale for a slow count.  When you exhale, slow your breath down to exhale for twice the count of the inhale.  So if you inhale to a count of 4, exhale to a count of 8.  You choose the speed of your count, and the numbers - and they may change during the exercise.  I often start with 4/8 and end up on 6/12.  This releases "stale air" from the bottom of your lungs, and enhances oxygenation.

 

Pyramid cleansing breath (Dr. Andrew Weil): - you choose the speed of your count.  Inhale to a count of 4, hold for 7, exhale to a count of 8.  Perform only 4-8 of these breaths, then release into normal belly breathing.

 

Rosicrucian breathing techniques:

 

For an overstimulated, agitated state:

Inhale for a count of 5

Exhale for a count of 5

Hold the exhale for a count of 5

 

Repeat 5 times.

 

After completion - let go.  Do not think about your breath again.  This is a calming technique.

 

For a depressed, fatigued, state:

Inhale for a count of 7

Hold for a count of 7

Exhale for a count of 7

 

Repeat 7 times

 

After completion, let go.  Do not think about your breath again.  This is an energizing technique.

The Rosicrucian techniques can be done up to 3 times per day.

 

There!  This is a breathing toolkit.  Something to think about when traffic is just not moving, or you are laying in bed sleeping.  For insomnia, either Rosicrucian technique is fine, and all these yogic techniques are fine, too, as they all serve to slow the breath, and shift from "active" to "relaxed" mode.

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FeralUrban

I am a registered yoga therapist with the International Association of Yoga Therapists. I've had extensive training and experience with pranayama among other yogic techniques.

 

Breath is divided into 4 parts: Inhalation, retention (holding after inhalation), exhalation, suspension (holding after exhalation.)

 

When Inhalation > Exhalation or Retention > Exhalation, the Autonomic Nervous System activates the Sympathetic response -- increased heart rate, higher blood pressure, an all of the fight/flight/freeze responses. A little bit of this might possibly be useful if you are in a state of extreme lethargy, but it can also be a disaster if you use this method regularly. I've known of cardiac patients who gave themselves heart attacks with retaining the inhalation 16 beats after a 4 beat inhale. 

 

RECOMMENDATION: inhale 4-6 beats, retain the breath 1 beat, exhale 4-6 beats, suspend 1 beat. SIMPLE. If you want to use the alternate nostril technique, do but keep the ratio simple, steady and slow! 

 

Regarding Alternate nostril breathing techniques:

Anuloma/viloma, pratiloma ujjayi, nadi shodhana, and other alternate nostril creating patterns (there are a few) can be very helpful in balancing the brain, and helping it integrate logic and emotion. This is thought to work like alternate side stimulation of any kind, (for example: left brain, right brain, right brain, left brain.) These yogic techniques are the basis of EMDR, a technique for desensitizing and integrating traumatic memories.  In EMDR you can squeeze one hand then the other, someone can tap you, you can look right, then look left, auditory stimulus that alternates also helps. 

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Shep

I'll add some more videos and other resources for breathing techniques that I've found along the way:

 

4-7-8 Breathing:

 

 

The 4-7-8 Breath: Health Benefits & Demonstration - article with video

 

Once you develop this breathing technique by practicing it every day, twice a day, it will be a very useful tool that you will always have with you. Use it whenever anything upsetting happens – before you react. Use it whenever you are aware of internal tension. Use it to help you fall asleep. Use it to deal with food cravings. Great for mild to moderate anxiety, this exercise cannot be recommended too highly. Everyone can benefit from it.

 

 

Here's the cartoon version: 

 

4-7-8 Breathing Exercise by GoZen - Video

 

And a visual to help you practice:

 

Synch your breathing to the circle

 

 

And the below triangle gif is one that I like, but there are times when I find it moves too quickly. For some reason, just watching it seems to help my derealization. 

 

 

tumblr_nsj9tcMOgY1qkv5xlo1_500.gif

 

 

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Shep

Breathe, Exhale and Repeat: What Are the Benefits of Controlled Breathing?

 

 

Some key points in the article: 

 

“Breathing is massively practical,” psychologist Belisa Vranich, Ph.D., author of the upcoming book “Breathe,” told The New York Times. “It’s meditation for people who can’t meditate.”

 

Not only did the participants’ symptoms of depression significantly decrease but their levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a calming neurotransmitter, simultaneously increased.

 

The breathing exercises are said to help balance your autonomic nervous system and influence psychologic and stress-related disorders

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januaryeve

 

 

"Anuloma Viloma is also called the Alternate Nostril Breathing Technique. In this Breathing Technique, you inhale through one nostril, retain the breath, and exhale through the other nostril in a ratio of 2:8:4."

[\quote]

 

Gem, Is Anuloma Viloma one of the types of pranayama that raises blood pressure? Do you know if there are any other health conditions that prohibit this type of breathing?

 

I know just a little bit about pranayama. I have tried two different breathing techniques, and both were calming, although I haven't been able to depend on either of them putting me to sleep for sure. This one, Anuloma Viloma, seems to have a very long retention phase, and that makes me nervous. I have read that holding your breath can raise blood pressure, but I don't know if it's true.

 

Thank for your post!

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JanCarol

Alternate Nostril Breathing should lower blood pressure.

 

We haven't posted any of the pranayama that would increase sympathetic nervous system, like Bellows Breath or Wim Hof methods of pumping air.

 

We are seeking to calm the sympathetic nervous system.

 

If you feel your blood pressure during a breathing exercise, then you are pushing too hard.  Breathing should be natural, easy - you should be able to gently "extend your range" without pressure, straining, or tension.  Start with a natural breath, and gently move into the techniques. 

 

If you need to speed up your count, or use a lower count, then do so.  Focusing on your breath should be relieving, not stressful.  If a technique seems too hard, try an easier one.

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JanCarol

I have been listening to talks by Dennis Lewis called, "Natural Breathing"

 

It talks about so many things - 70% of the toxins we take in are exhaled (and the kidneys and liver deal with the rest).

 

As children, we learn that when we have a strong emotion - if we breathe less the emotion is reduced.  We carry this behaviour into adulthood, and it causes all kinds of health problems.

 

Proper breathing can help circulate lympth, regulate the endocrine system, improve cardiovascular function, and digestion.  

 

He also refers people to Donna Farhi's "Breathing Book," which talks about how she went into a cardiac ward, and found that 100% of people who had suffered cardiac events were chest-breathers, and did not use their diaphragm and belly to breathe.  This caught my attention - as I've been doing yogic breathing for nearly 40 years now - and yet - here I am under review for cardiac rhythm.

 

His credentials are deep and broad, including Taoist healing (which he claims changed his life), Feldenkrais massage and exercise techniques, Yoga, and more - decades of research into healing.  His website is here:  https://www.dennislewis.org/

 

The focus of this talk is that - how we breathe is how we live our lives.

 

Shallow, fast breathing = shallow anxious living.  Deep, engaged breathing helps to open us up to the full potential we carry as Human Beings.

 

He did say in the talk that just doing breathing exercises - as awesome as they are - was enough.  He talked about expanding the practice to include integration of the breathing into daily life.  To techniques that allow the breathing exercises to change you.

 

I will need to listen to the talk again (and again!) to fully understand.  

 

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JanCarol

I also wanted to give some energizing breathing techniques, for those of us who suffer from fatigue, and to boost autoimmune response.

 

These techniques is not for people in withdrawal, high blood pressure, or pregnancy.  These are techniques for helping with depression, fatigue and autoimmune response ONLY.

Here is one (and I'll list my modifications at the end):

 

This is the Wim Hof method - he is known as the IceMan for his ability to regulate his temperature and bodily responses under extreme conditions.  While I don't aspire to that level of control, there is value to his method.

 

Here's how I do it:

Breathe in fully, exhale completely.  30-40 times.  Do not push the breath in, or push it out - just breathe in fully, exhale completely (these are the words that Dennis Lewis uses).  If you get light headed, stop.  You can do it lying down, or sitting up.

 

When you have built up to the full 30-40 breaths, at the end, exhale completely, and hold.  Do not strain to hold, just let your breath stay out.  Time it.  I can get this one up to about 45 seconds without strain.  If you are straining, you are doing it too hard.  If you have done this well, you will feel a lightness in your extremities, as the oxygen you built up from the deep breathing is circulated.  Let the breath return when it wants to return.  

 

after that, inhale fully.  Hold.  Do not strain to hold, just keep your breath in.  If you are straining, then you're doing it too hard.  Time it.  I can get this one up to 1 minute.  When your breath is ready to come out, let it out.

 

This is not like the intensity of breath holding that you would do underwater.  It is more gentle, more relaxing.  Lying down is much more relaxing and invigorating than sitting up, but if you want to do it where you are - sitting up is fine.

 

Allow your breathing to return to normal.  After this exercise, your breath should be naturally slow, deep, and relaxed.

 

At the end of the exercise, you are supposed to quietly get up and take a cold shower to "lock in" all that oxygen goodness.  This also improves stress response, and would be a powerful antidepressant.

 

I have yet to get to the cold shower - I'm doing well to do the breathing.  If you want, you can start the shower warm, and work it down to cold.

 

It is a bit like hyperventilating - but it is slower, more controlled.  It is more like hyper-oxygenating.  It is one of those "self-hack" kind of things - though Wim Hof (he has TED talks, etc.) can explain some of the science behind his "hack."

 

I'm looking for a good description of "bellows breath," a yoga technique for a similar purpose - with the added benefit that it massaged the internal organs and helps to regulate endrocrine:

 

The only thing I disagree with her is that it must be done sitting.  Very few people (especially with lower back issues) can do this from a seated position.  It is slightly more challenging to do it from standing - but these techniques are meant to be energizing.  When I do it standing, I do it from a "tilted arrow" position.  Oh heck.  That term was used by ONE yoga teacher, and doesn't link to Google search.  

 

Standing, keeping the integrity of your spin, bend your knees until your arms can rest on your thighs.  The top of your head should point to the corner where the wall meets the ceiling, at about 45 degrees.  (that's the "tilted arrow")  This gives your belly free rein to lift and lower your diaphragm into belly breathing.

 

There is another bellows breath I learned at a very young age.  Only perform on an empty stomach! Tilted arrow position, breathe in fully, exhale completely.  10, nice, easy, long, deep, full belly breaths.  After the 10th exhale, push to exhale every bit of air up.

This is well demonstrated here:

 

The "nauri" in this video, is more circular - when I learned it, it was more like a bellows, pumping 7 times, before allowing the breath to flow back in fully.  They do recommend learning this from a practitioner - however - nobody told me that when I learned it.

 

Last, is the paradoxical breath - designed to pump chi into the dantien.  Put into western terms, it sends strength into the belly to support the muscles.  This is supposedly a Bruce Lee technique, and I have a series of 100 breaths with different chi gung hand movements for developing upper body strength.

 

But the basic breath is this:  As you inhale, contract your abdominals, as you exhale, release your abdominals.  This is paradoxical, and only to be performed in a short sequence before releasing your breath to a natural breath (expanding abominals on inhale, pulling them in on exhale = natural).  I recommend starting with 10 breaths.  If someone here tries this, and wants the hand motions too, I'll write them up.  

 

The paradoxical breath will likely increase cortisol, so again, should only be practiced when not in withdrawal, to develop strength and energy.  It is a short exercise you can start your day with, to energize.  It's also good before weightlifting workouts and is recommended for that (but the natural technique is used for the actual lifting).

 

So - these are some different techniques to consider for energy.  

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JanCarol

Buteyko Breathing is a Russian technique supposedly developed to help with athletic performance, asthma, and sleep apnea.  I took a $$$ seminar in it with hubby, so feel qualified to give my opinion.

 

It is widely touted in "natural health" circles here (and apparently in Russia and the UK).  I, and hubby, were desperate to find something to help with sleep apnea, so we paid the $$$ each to attend this 4 night, 10 hour seminar.

 

Professor Buteyko (I believe this is also a "hack") was a Russian scientist, who claims connections to Soviet sport and space programs.   His technique is based on the observation that sick people "overbreathed."  So he developed a technique of "underbreathing."  It sent me into visionary states, and was against all of the yogic principles I learned (unless, of course, I wanted to pursue visionary states!).

 

Dennis Lewis explains that as we mostly chest breathe, and do not draw our breath into our bellies, we do not get enough oxygen to the body.  Therefore, we breathe faster.  This goes along with what Buteyko was saying about "overbreathing."

 

Buteyko's breathing concepts are explained briefly here:

 

The technique, as taught in the seminar, was to reduce your breath to the minimum.  You counted your breathing per minute, and you reduced the air flow through your nostrils.  Always breathing through the nostrils (this I agree with).  But never reaching for the depths of your diaphragm, instead, gently restricting flow to keep the velocity of flow down, and the rate of breathing down.  I cannot find a good YouTube video that is brief enough to post here - plus - they guard their "techniques" so that you will pay for the $eminar.

 

When I got out of the seminar, I wanted to take deep, slow breaths, and did not want to use their techniques.  Hubby was disgusted at what we paid and said we would have done as well to breathe into a paper bag for anxiety.  It was counter intuitive, and went against everything that yoga had taught me.

 

Their answer for sleep apnea - "Tape your mouth shut!"  with medical tape.  What?  How does that improve the muscle tone of the esophagus?  Yes, it helps to keep you breathing through your nose, but a collapsed wind-pipe is not prevented by this "technique."  (I have since learned that alternate nostril breathing combined with ujayi / snake breath - is much better for strengthening the muscles of the throat).

 

So - we spent $$$ and a week of our life learning something of little or no value.  

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JanCarol

I wrote of Dennis Lewis (Natural Breathing):

 

 

He did say in the talk that just doing breathing exercises - as awesome as they are - was enough.  He talked about expanding the practice to include integration of the breathing into daily life.  To techniques that allow the breathing exercises to change you.

 

I will need to listen to the talk again (and again!) to fully understand.  

 

He said, breathing exercises are not enough.

 

I've listened to the talk a few times now, and done some of the exercises.

 

The first thing I notice about his breathing exercises is the level of detail he goes into about breathing.  It is more detail and attention than I have ever put into a breathing exercise.

 

For example, breathing deeply into you belly - he is also putting your attention onto the diaphragm, this balloon in the belly which pumps the breath, in and out.  He describes it as a dome wall  under the lungs which rises and falls with the breath, inside your belly.

Then he talks about energetics - and this is probably the key difference between his techniques and other techniques I've learned.

 

In yoga, I've imagined that I breathe through my heels and out the top of the head, but Dennis Lewis is about feeling the energetics and the pathways of where the breath goes.

 

It's more than just feeling oxygen in the blood, flowing to the feet - it's a subtle body thing.  A Taoist thing.  I am only an egg, I'm just learning it - not well enough to teach it.

 

But when you breathe in - the energy goes down to the earth, and when you breathe out, it springs out the top of your head.  Yes, we've done that in yoga enough times - the devil is in the details.  

 

An example is the maharaj pranayam.  The Complete Yoga Breath, and sometimes called the Cleansing breath.  

In Yoga, this starts with a deep inhale to the belly, filling the belly first, then the lower lungs, and then the upper lungs.  Like emptying a pitcher, you reverse this to exahale, empty the upper lungs first, then lower lungs, and belly last.  For advanced practitioners there is a lock at the bottom and a lock at the top.  In yogic practice, when you exhale, you exhale all the way, everything.  This is for the purpose of building space and making room for the next breath, and if you exhale fully, your breath will expand over time.

 

In Yoga, there is even a Cleansing Breath practice where the exhale is longer and slower than the inhale - preferably twice as long as the inhale.

 

In Dennis Lewis Natural breathing, he brings the attention to the various parts of the breath, and he wants the exhale to be twice as long as the inhale.

 

But the difference is - yes, you exhale fully - but - leave the vital essence of the breath in your lower belly, the dantien, the battery for chi.  He says "don't throw out the baby with the bathwater."

 

What is the vital essence of the breath?  Is it the oxygen?  I visualized it as something misty and golden and precious.  He said that 10 minutes of this breathing would build up and increase your energy (not a relaxation technique!)

 

See what I mean by subtle?  It's so subtle I'm not even sure I'm saying it right.

 

There's always more to learn!

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DMV64
On 5/4/2017 at 9:24 AM, JanCarol said:

I wrote of Dennis Lewis (Natural Breathing):

 

 

He said, breathing exercises are not enough.

 

I've listened to the talk a few times now, and done some of the exercises.

 

The first thing I notice about his breathing exercises is the level of detail he goes into about breathing.  It is more detail and attention than I have ever put into a breathing exercise.

 

For example, breathing deeply into you belly - he is also putting your attention onto the diaphragm, this balloon in the belly which pumps the breath, in and out.  He describes it as a dome wall  under the lungs which rises and falls with the breath, inside your belly.

Then he talks about energetics - and this is probably the key difference between his techniques and other techniques I've learned.

 

In yoga, I've imagined that I breathe through my heels and out the top of the head, but Dennis Lewis is about feeling the energetics and the pathways of where the breath goes.

 

It's more than just feeling oxygen in the blood, flowing to the feet - it's a subtle body thing.  A Taoist thing.  I am only an egg, I'm just learning it - not well enough to teach it.

 

But when you breathe in - the energy goes down to the earth, and when you breathe out, it springs out the top of your head.  Yes, we've done that in yoga enough times - the devil is in the details.  

 

An example is the maharaj pranayam.  The Complete Yoga Breath, and sometimes called the Cleansing breath.  

In Yoga, this starts with a deep inhale to the belly, filling the belly first, then the lower lungs, and then the upper lungs.  Like emptying a pitcher, you reverse this to exahale, empty the upper lungs first, then lower lungs, and belly last.  For advanced practitioners there is a lock at the bottom and a lock at the top.  In yogic practice, when you exhale, you exhale all the way, everything.  This is for the purpose of building space and making room for the next breath, and if you exhale fully, your breath will expand over time.

 

In Yoga, there is even a Cleansing Breath practice where the exhale is longer and slower than the inhale - preferably twice as long as the inhale.

 

In Dennis Lewis Natural breathing, he brings the attention to the various parts of the breath, and he wants the exhale to be twice as long as the inhale.

 

But the difference is - yes, you exhale fully - but - leave the vital essence of the breath in your lower belly, the dantien, the battery for chi.  He says "don't throw out the baby with the bathwater."

 

What is the vital essence of the breath?  Is it the oxygen?  I visualized it as something misty and golden and precious.  He said that 10 minutes of this breathing would build up and increase your energy (not a relaxation technique!)

 

See what I mean by subtle?  It's so subtle I'm not even sure I'm saying it right.

 

There's always more to learn! Wow JanCarol! This is great. Just sitting here and trying the emptying down but leaving the vital essence is new and different to me!

 

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DMV64

I am doing Wim Hof method and loving it! I do the breathing as soon as I wake up to ward off morning panic. I follow with as many push ups as I can do “on empty” (exhaled breath holding). Then a quick headstand. It is really helping my mood, and my anxiety. He has a free mini class online-check it out!

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papaloapan

I had severe rhinitis. All rhinitis (allergic, irritative, sinusitis, rhinosinusitis) are the same. Which is an inflammation of the mucous membrane (the skin inside your nostrils) or an excessive production of mucus because of pollution, eating dairy products because dairy's protein which is casein or sodium caseinate which it is not 100% digestible, turns into mucus or becomes mucus. Also sugary food and refined flours can turn into mucus. So I couldn't breathe at all some times, and some times I could only breathe like 5% of the total capacity of my breathing, it was really horrible. Only after I did the amazing and simple technique that I'll describe you here, I was able to breathe perfectly again. 

Do not let yourself get deceived by the simplicity of the technique. As Gregg Braden says: "nature is simple, life is simple, until humans make it complex".

Medicine does not cure rhinitis because pharmaceutical companies and otolaryngologist are only interested in giving patients antihistamines and nasal sprays with corticosteroid that don't cure, they only give you a temporal or very short lasting relief, and corticosteroids damage the inner skin of your nostrils so in some time you will need nose surgery from the otolaryngologist. So medicine only cares that patients consume lifelong drugs and for them to get very expensive nose surgeries. 

Fortunately, I found the only cure in youtube, which is a very old technique used by yoguis to clean their nostrils in order to be able to breathe perfectly. It is called neti or jala neti. It is really amazing. Yesterday was the first time I did it and for the first time in years, I can breathe perfectly well. Jala neti is about using a neti pot which you can get in amazon, I got mine here: https://www.amazon.com.mx/gp/product/B00275G17W/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 

Price of the neti pot: 37 USD

Then you use 1 cup (236 ml) of warm water but just a bit warm, don't heat the water too much, it can be about the temperature of the body which is around 98.06 F (36.7 C), but actually a bit more warm can make easily to clean better your nostrils and get all the accumulated bacteria, mucus and pollution out of your nostrils that has been there for years! Yoguis say that cleaning your nostrils and sinuses is as important as cleaning your teeth! Because breathing well is extremely important for your overall health, including the nervous system health. 

You need 1 teaspoon of 100% NATURAL sea salt into the water. It can be also himalayan salt, only use 100% natural non-refined salt or sea salt. If you use refined salt, you won't get the results of cleaning totally your nose and refined salt damages the nostrils. 

You can get the natural sea salt in any naturist store. I got mine in a place that is both a vegan restaurant and a vegan store, very cheap, for 5 USD.

Before pouring the salt, you need to crush the salt because remember that 100% natural salt comes in big granules, so crush it till you get very small granules.

Then pour the salt into the warm water.

Mix well until the salt is fully disolved in the water. Pour the mixture into the neti pot. 

First blow your nose to get the excess of mucus out of your nostrils before pouring the mixture into your nostrils.

It is important to lean your head forward and to one side before you pour the mixture inside one nostril. You'll pour the mixture in both of your nostrils. First lean to one side to pour the mixture first into one nostril, then blow your nose and then pour the mixture into your other nostril.

Place the tip of the neti pot (where the water comes out) right into one of your nostrils, creating a seal between your nostril and the tip of the neti pot so you make sure the mixture of water with salt does not spill out, make sure all the mixture goes into your nostril. 

The mixture has to go inside one nostril and come out of the other nostril. If you don't achieve this, you have to lean/incline more forward and/or sideways. The gravity will make the mixture to go into one nostril and come out of the other. While doing this, breathe only through your mouth. If the mixture goes to your throat, just spit it out and try again. 

Make sure you used the whole mixture. I'll leave you a youtube video at the end so that you can watch better how to do it.

 

IMPORTANT: I have an extremely sensitive nervous system because I'm still withdrawing very slowly from 3 psychiatric drugs, 1 multi-ingredient supplement and another supplement that I've been taking for many years. I did the jala neti technique yesterday before going to bed and while sleeping I felt a very bad BUT TOLERABLE reaction because of the 100% natural sea salt. Remember that the 100% natural sea salt contains around 50 to 80 minerals and remember that hypersensitive nervous systems like people in withdrawal of psychiatric drugs are very sensitive to some foods, vitamins, minerals, supplements, of course psychiatric drugs or any psychoactive or neuroactive substances.

GOOD NEWS: This very bad but tolerable reaction only lasted for some minutes during my sleep time. The next day in the morning I noticed that the bad reaction was completely gone. And it is totally worth it because now my nostrils and sinuses are completely clean and I can breathe perfectly! It is amazing and wonderful for me to be able to breathe perfectly again. I'm not kidding. I was fortunate to be able to breathe perfectly since the first time I did the jala neti techinque. Maybe some people, because of having such a chronic or long lasting rhinitis or sinusitis, won't breathe perfectly at the first one done but will definitely feel a noticeable improvement. 

BUT HEY! I HAD RHINITIS FOR A VERY LONG TIME (YEARS) AND EVEN A NOSE SURGERY BECAUSE OF SINUSITIS, AND I HAVE JUST DONE THE JALA NETI POT TECHINIQUE ONCE AND I AM BREATHING PERFECTLY. IT FEELS SO GOOD!

 

 2 youtube videos for how to do it: 

 

 

 

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papaloapan

If your nervous system is hypersensitive, use less than one teaspoon of natural sea salt because it is really powerful and it can cause you some very unpleasant reactions. Another thing you can use if you don't feel safe with the jala neti technique, is to use a new and empty dropper bottle, fill it with purified water and a very small amount of the 100% natural sea salt, as every supplement, start with very little salt, and if you tolerate it well, increase by very small amounts. Also apply this to the jala neti technique please to be safe.

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papaloapan

WARNING -IMPORTANT: Sorry for writing this till now. I started using 1200 mg of natural sea salt mixed with purified water in a dropper bottle and I felt TERRIBLE because it was too much salt and remember that natural sea salt has between 50 to 80 minerals/trace elements and because of taking psychiatric drugs for many years, my body is hypersensitive to certain foods, to vitamins, minerals and supplements. I put drops of the mixture inside my nostrils. So I decreased the dosage of natural sea salt to 900 mg in which I felt horrible, then to 800 mg in which I also felt horrible, so now I'm at 600mg and I am feeling good and 600mg does the job of cleaning my nostrils of mucus, bad bacteria and pollution in order for me to be able to breathe better through my nose. Remember each body is different so maybe you can tolerate more than 600 mg of natural sea salt in your dropper bottle or maybe you only tolerate less than 600mg. 

The dropper bottle is an excellent alternative for the neti pot because in order for the neti pot/nasal cleansing technique to be effective, you have to usea a whole teaspoon of natural sea salt which is A LOT for my nervous system and made me feel HORRIBLE. 

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