I have been practicing breathing exercises for almost 30 years and I can relay to you that there is far too much emphasis on technique and not so much on results.
So why all the confusion about Breathing?
Aren’t there hard and fast rules for breathing that work for everyone?
Yes and No.
So, the common breathing tips of are still related to the old pranayamic techniques that were primarily not for improving physical energy.
In the modern era, physical energy is a major issue and techniques for the burnout of modern living have not been honed to a science yet. Many people are not as concerned so much with spiritual advancement as they are getting through the day.
It could certainly be said that any breathing exercises better than no breathing exercise at all but if your objective is physical endurance and or energy then we definitely have to use more modern techniques.
Many people are concerned about whether they’re breathing through their nostrils, belly breathing or breathing through their mouth. What we find is that the concern over the technique is limiting the benefit of doing breathing techniques at all in the modern era.
Many years ago a great teacher of mine, (Goswami Kriyananda – from the Temple of Kriya Yoga in Chicago) told me “you don’t breathe through your nose and you don’t breathe through your mouth, you breathe through your lungs.” I believe he was correct – talk to someone who’s had a tracheotomy and you’ll find that breathing through the nose in the mouth is not a priority when you can’t breathe at all. I have taken that very seriously since and can tell you the results are dramatic when you practice without concern for specific techniques, unless that is what you are trying to do.
There’s no question that breathing exercises can help people. The question is how are they practiced.
I will submit to you that doing breathing exercises as a daily as a practice is more important than how specifically they are done.
Evidence of the benefit to ignoring many of the current tips is found in the achievements of Dutchman Wim Hof. What he has accomplished and the research on him and his students showing that it really didn’t matter “what hole”, as Wim would say, they were breathing through to get exceptional results in the study. If you have not heard of him, more info can be found at the link below and he is results are definitely worth learning about.
What he and his students accomplished medically is a powerful message to send people not to be afraid of breathing more intensely when they have proven techniques that are non-traditional. This is also represented in the interview that I did with Wim just recently, which will be posted on this site shortly.
You can check Wim out at: www.wimhofmethod.com
See My Breathing Exercises for Anxiety video series HERE
– Dr. Lorn Allison D.N.