Breath Deep, Hold

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Humans can relate with the knowledge that fishes exist in and are surrounded by water. Like fishes, humans exist in and are surrounded by oxygen. So we can say that we exist in and are surrounded by water in its gaseous form. Fishes will die in our kind of water while we will die in their kind water if either have prolonged stay in it. How many of us can decide not to breath in oxygen?

Breathing is what keeps us alive and active. If you insist on holding beyond what you can tolerate, it can have life threatening consequences. However, if you can breath in deep and hold you breath for a regulated period of time, it will be good for your general health.

This write up will focus on how to do deep breathing, how to hold your breath in a regulated period and, the benefits of doing so. Just before those, it will be appropriate to discuss a little on the likely consequences of holding breath beyond what our body system can tolerate.

RISK OF DEEP BREATHING
Of its own, deep breathing has no risk. We can discuss risk in deep breathing only because there are diagnosed or undiagnosed risk in whoever may want to practice deep breathing. Therefore, if you feel severe discomfort as you attempt deep breathing, its advisable you see a doctor.

What are some health conditions that can pose a risk to deep breathing? Listed below are some of such:

• Lung conditions such as asthma, emphysema, or pneumonia
• Problems with your trachea or bronchi, which are part of your airway system
• Heart disease can make you feel breathless if your heart cannot pump enough blood to supply oxygen to your body
• Anxiety and panic attacks
• Allergies

Deep breathing may just open up to you that you’re having a health condition you probably did not know was present in your body.

BREATH DEEP
Breathing is so common placed that most of us are not conscious that we breath in and out. Stop for a moment and take a slow rhythmic breath (in and out). Does it feel different and refreshing? How far in does your breath go when you breath in before you breath out. We live in a fast pace system of things such that breathing in and out has no rhythm. We simply rush through our breath just the same way we rush through everything.

In today’s rush up world most are too busy to eat a decent meal. So what sense will a person who does not value making out time for a decent meal make of taking time to breath deep. So is this some kind of therapy? No! Its your life. Now wait a moment no one have died out of the rushed up way we breath in and out, very true. Think for a moment. How have your lifestyle impacted on how you breath and cope with the pressures of each day? Does my lifestyle and breathing pattern impacted on my relationships? What about my productivity at work or business? Does my breathing pattern have any impact on my wellness and longevity?
We’ll address all of that when considering the benefits of deep breathing. Lets consider how to achieve rhythmic deep breathing.
Methods

Take a deep breath in. Now let it out. You may notice a difference in how you feel already. Your breath is a powerful tool to ease stress and make you feel less anxious. Some simple breathing exercises can make a big difference if you make them part of your regular routine.

Before you get started, keep these tips in mind:
• Choose a place to do your breathing exercise. It could be in your bed, on your living room floor, or on a comfortable chair.
• Don’t force it. This can make you feel more stressed.
• Try to do it at the same time once or twice a day.
• Wear comfortable clothes.
• There is the natural inclination to close your eyes each time you attempt deep breathing. Go with the nature.
• Keep a straight vertical spine (as if to maintain a straight hollow pipe through the length of your spine downwards) and head straight up.
• If you decide to sit on a chair, do not sit slouch. Keep a chest up position, head straight up.

Many breathing exercises take only a few minutes. You can vary the duration as soon as you start to feel comfortable to get even greater benefits. However, try not to overdo it.

Deep Breathing
Most people take short, shallow breaths into their chest. This could be as a result of bad posture, fits of anger, bottling up emotions, anxiety and depression, abuse of substance drugs and, over indulgence in alcohol. It can make you feel anxious and zap your energy. With this technique, you’ll learn how to take bigger breaths, all the way into your belly.

1. Get comfortable. You can lie on your back in bed or on the floor with a pillow under your head and knees. Or you can sit in a chair with your shoulders, head, and neck supported against the back of the chair.
2. Breathe in through your nose. Let your belly fill with air.
3. Breathe out through your nose.
4. Place one hand on your belly. Place the other hand on your chest.
5. As you breathe in, feel your belly rise. As you breathe out, feel your belly lower. The hand on your belly should move more than the one that’s on your chest.
6. Take three more full, deep breaths. Breathe fully into your belly as it rises and falls with your breath.

Breath Focus
While you do deep breathing, use a picture in your mind and a word or phrase to help you feel more relaxed. Try not to think of this as yoga. Try think of a pet name you’re called by your friends, parents, husband or wife. What does that pet name mean to you and how does it make you feel when called.

1. Close your eyes if they’re open.
2. Take a few big, deep breaths.
3. Breathe in. As you do that, imagine that the air is filled with a sense of peace and calm. Try to feel it throughout your body.
4. Breathe out. While you’re doing it, imagine that the air leaves with your stress and tension.
5. Now use a word or phrase with your breath. As you breathe in, say in your mind, “I breathe in peace and calm.”
6. As you breathe out, say in your mind, “I breathe out stress and tension.”
7. Continue for 10 to 20 minutes.
Equal Time for Breathing in and

Breathing Out
In this exercise, you’ll match how long you breathe in with how long you breathe out. Over time, you’ll increase how long you’re able to breathe in and out at a time.

1. Sit comfortably on the floor or in a chair.
2. Breathe in through your nose. As you do it, count to five.
3. Breathe out through your nose to the count of five.
4. Repeat several times.
Once you feel comfortable with breaths that last five counts, increase how long you breathe in and breathe out. You can work up to breaths that last up to 10 counts and even more.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation
In this technique, you breathe in as you tense a muscle group and breathe out as you release it. Progressive muscle relaxation helps you relax physically and mentally.

1. Lie comfortably on the floor.
2. Take a few deep breaths to relax.
3. Breathe in. Tense the muscles of your feet.
4. Breathe out. Release the tension in your feet.
5. Breathe in. Tense your calf muscles.
6. Breathe out. Release the tension in your calves.
7. Work your way up your body. Tense each muscle group. This includes your legs, belly, chest, fingers, arms, shoulders, neck, and face.

You should be able to feel each muscle as you tense and relax the other. The tension build and release sequence along with breathing in deep and out gives you this light feeling after relaxing the tensed group of muscle.

Modified Lion’s Breath
As you do this exercise, imagine that you’re a lion (if you cannot imagine it, go for a documentary and watch how lions in the jungle do this). Let all of your breath out with a big, open mouth.

1. Sit comfortably on the floor or in a chair.
2. Breathe in through your nose. Fill your belly all the way up with air.
3. When you can’t breathe in any more, open your mouth as wide as you can. Breathe out with an “Ahh” sound.
4. Repeat several times.
When you do this it leads to an induced yawning but something else happens it tends to trigger the sensory nerves for sleep.

HOLD YOUR BREATH
The ability to hold your breath for a long period of time is a much sought-after skill. Maybe you want to last longer underwater while diving or surfing, or maybe you’re just looking for an impressive party trick.

Whatever the reason, it is actually surprisingly easy to increase the amount of time you can go without breathing, provided you use the right training techniques and follow adequate safety precautions

Before you start holding your breath, get use to deep breathing, using the various methods mentioned earlier.
Some of us naturally have long while others have short breathe. So when it comes to holding breath, some may do a better job than the other. However, practice can be made of holding by varying the duration of hold. It is better to start with seconds and then to minutes. You can then extend the minutes by the degree of comfort felt at the last minutes. If you feel uncomfortable at any point in time, don’t keep holding.
There are methods of holding breath which I am not going to discuss here. However, there are basic rules to help you get the benefit of holding your breath:

a. Stay relaxed (either laying on your back or sitting up straight)
b. Feel you lungs with air (almost like digesting air in your lungs)
c. Hold your breath for the duration most comfortable for you.
d. Vary how you breath out (can be slowly through the nose or mouth or a purge through the mouth).
e. Breathing in deep rhythmically and holding your breath can be done while commuting in as much as you keep the right posture (a straight spine, chest up and, head up).

BENEFITS OF DEEP BREATHING AND HOLDING BREATH
Someone may start to query why border to breath in deep and hold my breathe. Now wait a moment, how are you breathing now? Then stop! Take in deliberate deep breathe and then breath out slowly through your nose. Did you feel some measure of rejuvenation?

Breathing in deep and out has known benefits that will be discussed. However, between breathing in and out there should be moment you don’t breath in neither are you breathing out. This is when you hold your breathe.

You may be familiar with David Blaine, one of his exploits got him the world record for holding his breathe, for 17 minutes 4 seconds. However, the current longest world record of holding breath is by Aleix Segura of Spain at a whopping 24 minutes 3 seconds! These records are stunning as an average healthy human can hold breathe for approximately 2 minutes.

You need not aim at breaking any world record but simply do a routine rhythmic breathing in, hold your breathe and then breath out slowly. So is it worth doing such? Lets have a look at the benefit of doing so:

Antidote for Audience Fear: every public speaker no matter how seasoned fights initial element of audience fear. One way they quickly come off audience fear is by doing deep breathing, holding their breathe and, breathing out slowly. This relives the tension build-up in muscles and the vocal cords. So it van be said it helps restore self confidence.

Mood Regulator: when experiencing distressing and depressing situation, breathing in deep and then out, calms you down because brain cells (neurons) are constantly watching what your breathe is doing. The brain suddenly assumes you are calm. It triggers neuron in the brain which tells the body to be calm. Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine and the University of California have identified 175 brain cells which spy on the breath and alter state of mind accordingly.

Regulate Heart Rate: Under normal physiological conditions your heart is constitutively activated by the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which keeps your heart beat at a constant 75 beats per minute. Under normal conditions, holding your breath has actually been shown to have minimal influences on heart rate but may decrease it ever so slightly. By breathing in and holding your breath, you will further activate the PNS causing a decreased heart rate, known as bradycardia. In addition, holding your breath will create a negative suction pressure in the thorax and inflate the organs. It will then take longer for blood to fill the heart and thus also create a slower heart rate.

So when you feel sudden heart palpitation, a likely first aid is multiple quick breath and hold.

However, endeavour to keep a straight spine when you do that.
By breathing deeply and holding your breath, you allow the diaphragm to drop downward, the rib cage to expand and create more space for the lungs to inflate. By mastering the art of deep breathing, increased oxygen floods into the body, eventually helping the heart pace to slow down to create feelings of calmness and relaxation.

In a nutshell… breath detoxifies, releases toxins and strengthens the immune system
Around 70% of our toxins are released from our body through our breath. Carbon dioxide is a natural waste product of your body’s metabolism. The benefits of breathing deeply help the systems in the body to process this more efficiently.

References:
WebMD
Wikipedia
The Telegraph
Science Blog – Curiosity
Conscious Lifestyle Magazine

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